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Calibration of glacier volume–area relations from surface extent fluctuations and application to future glacier change

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The volume- and area-change evolution of glaciers can be obtained by employing the volume–area scaling approach during mass-balance modelling. This method usually requires information on the initial surface area and ice volume to adjust the volume–area relation to the specific ice body. However, absolute volumetric data on glaciers are very rare, so the applicability of volume–area scaling is limited. In order to use volume–area scaling on glaciers for which only limited information is available, a new method is presented to calibrate the volume–area relation without prior knowledge of this relation by using glacier extent information from different times. To validate the method and illustrate its practicability, we model the range of probable future changes in ice volume and surface area of 'Glaciar Noroeste', an outlet glacier of Gran Campo Nevado ice cap, southern Chilean Patagonia, during the 21st century, based on IPCC SRES scenarios B1 and A2.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2010

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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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