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Analysis of a 3 year meteorological record from the ablation zone of Morteratschgletscher, Switzerland: energy and mass balance

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Since 1 October 1995, an automatic weather station has been operated on the tongue of Morteratschgletscher, Switzerland. The station stands freely on the ice, and sinks with the melting glacier surface. It is located at 2100 m a. s. l., and measures air tem- perature, wind speed and direction, incoming and reflected solar radiation, pressure and snow temperature. A sonic ranger, mounted to stakes drilled into the ice, measures surface height from which melt rates and snow accumulation can be derived. In this paper the data for the period 1 October 1995 to 30 September 1998 are used to evaluate the surface energy balance. The turbulent energy fluxes are calculated with the bulk method. The turbulent exchange coefficient Ch is used as a controlparameter. With Ch = 0.00127 the calculated melt equals the observed melt, which is 17.70 m w. e. over the 3 years. When aver- aged over the time when melting occurs (i.e.35% of the time), the mean surface heat flux equals 191W m–2. Net shortwave radiation contributes 177 W m–2, net longwave radiation –25 W m–2, the sensible-heat flux 31W m–2 and the latent-heat flux 8 W m–2 .

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2000

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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