A temperature-index model of stream flow at below-freezing temperatures in Taylor Valley, Antarctica

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Abstract:

We model runoff from glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, with summer (December–January) average air temperatures from 1990 to 2002 for the purpose of estimating decades- to millennial-scale glacial runoff into Lakes Fryxell, Hoare and Bonney. The relationship between summer temperatures and melt is found to be exponential near the melting temperature. We propose a variety of simple models that are calibrated using measured discharge from a number of streams draining from ten glaciers in Taylor Valley. The surface melting rate is constrained by mass-balance measurements from four of the glaciers. A model based solely on temperature produced good results (coefficient of determination, r2 = 0.71) for the south-facing glaciers, but poor results for the north-facing glaciers (r2 < 0). The inclusion of a solar radiation index increased the modeled melt from the north-facing glaciers and thus improved the results (r2 = 0.73) for the north-facing glaciers, with little change from the south-facing glaciers. Including a wind index did not improve the correlation between modeled and measured runoff.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756405781813519

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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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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