Volume and velocity changes at Mittivakkat Gletscher, southeast Greenland
Abstract:We document changes for Mittivakkat Gletscher, the peripheral glacier in Greenland with the longest field-based observed mass-balance and surface velocity time series. Between 1986 and 2011, this glacier changed by –15% in mean ice thickness and –30% in volume. We attribute these changes to summer warming and lower winter snow accumulation. Vertical strain compensated for ∼60% of the elevation change due to surface mass balance (SMB) in the lower part, and ∼25% in the upper part. The annual mean ice surface velocity changed by –30%, which can be fully explained by the dynamic effect of ice thinning, within uncertainty. Mittivakkat Gletscher summer surface velocities were on average 50–60% above winter background values, and up to 160% higher during peak velocity events. Peak velocity events were accompanied by uplift of a few centimeters.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 2013
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