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Volume change of McCall Glacier, Arctic Alaska, USA, 1956–2003

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A long history of research documents that McCall Glacier, Arctic Alaska, USA, continues to lose mass at a rate that is likely increasing with time. We present a photo comparison (1958–2003) that visually documents these volume changes, along with survey measurements that quantify these losses. Measurements of longitudinal profiles initially acquired from airborne laser altimetry, and repeated by ground-based surveys, indicate that the areally averaged rate of thinning increased between 1956–93 and 1993–2002, from 0.35 ± 0.07 m a−1 to 0.47 ± 0.03 m a−1, respectively; total volume loss was (8.3 × 107) ± (1.7 × 107) m3 and (2.7 × 107) ± (0.2 × 107) m3 (all in water equivalent) for these two time periods. These profiles also indicate that a 1 km stretch of the mid-ablation area is behaving differently from this trend, with a rate of thinning that is not changing with time. Lastly we present a comparison of several methods for calculating volume change and assess their relative errors.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-08-01

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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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