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Surface mass and energy balance of Sørbreen, Jan Mayen, 2008

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Mass-balance measurements were initiated in 2007/08 on Sørbreen, Jan Mayen, including operation of automatic weather stations in the ablation zone. Mean daily melt rate is 3.6 cm w.e.d−1 for the investigated snow-free period of 115 days in June–September 2008. During this period, the net radiation is the largest contributor to melt. However, the relative contribution is highest in June (81%) and less in September (21%). The net longwave radiation is negative, acting as a heat sink. The climate on Jan Mayen is polar maritime with generally high humidity and overcast conditions. This leads to a positive latent heat flux, which represents condensation to the glacier surface. Persistent temperature inversions on the island lead to non-linear lapse rates and an ablation profile where melt does not necessarily decrease with increased elevation. A comparison of air temperatures on the glacier and twice-daily radiosonde ascents from the meteorological station, ∼20 km away from the glacier, shows that air temperatures at corresponding elevations are highly correlated (R2 = 0.94–0.96). This indicates that radiosonde temperature profiles can be valuable for determining lapse rates for melt modeling of the glacier.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2010

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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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