Temporal and spatial changes of Laika Glacier, Canadian Arctic, since 1959, inferred from satellite remote sensing and mass-balance modelling
Abstract:The retreat of Laika Glacier (4.4 km2), part of a small ice cap situated on Coburg Island, Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is analyzed using field data, satellite remote sensing and mass-balance modelling. We present a methodology for merging various data types and numerical models and investigate the temporal and spatial changes of a remote glacier during the past five decades. A glacier mass-balance and surface-evolution model is run for the period 1959–2006, forced with in situ weather observations and climate re-analysis data (ERA-40, NARR). The model is calibrated using the ice-volume change observed between 1959 and 1971, and measured seasonal mass balances. Calculated glacier surface elevation is validated against ICESat GLAS altimeter data and ASTER-derived elevation. Landsat-derived glacier outlines are used to validate calculated ice extent. The piedmont tongue of Laika Glacier has retreated considerably and is in a state of disintegration. The modelled glacier mass balance between 1959 and 2006 was −0.41 m w.e.a−1, on average. Model results indicate a significant trend towards higher mass-balance gradients. A complete wastage of Laika Glacier by 2100 is predicted by model runs based on climate scenarios.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-12-01
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