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Surface mass balance (SMB) captures snow fall, surface melt, water runoff, and other forcings that control the mass balance at the surface of glacier ice. By perturbing it using an SMB anomaly, we try to understand the reaction of Canadian glaciers to climate change. ΔH(m) and ΔV(m/yr) are the thickness and velocity change induced by the SMB anomaly. H(m) and V(m) are the resulting thickness and velocity of the glacier after SMB anomaly. To choose which output is displayed, go into settings .

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Introduction

This simulation of Haig glacier, Canada, is the result of work presented in Adhikari and Marshall, TC 2013. It captures the evolution of Haig glacier over 30 years, and allows for perturbations to the surface mass balance of this glacier (SMB), which captures snow fall, surface melt, water runoff, and other parameters controlling the overall evolution of the surface of the ice.

Surface Mass Balance (SMB)

SMB captures snow fall, surface melt, water runoff, and other forcings that control the mass balance at the surface of glacier ice. By perturbing it, we try to understand the reaction of Alaskan glaciers to climate change. For each perturbation, this simulation computes the impact on stress-balance and mass-transport of the glacier, for a 10 year period. The final output of the simulation is a 10 year movie of the evolution in ice thickness and ice surface velocity of the glacier.

Datasets Used for the Simulation

  • Surface elevation from ASTER DEM at a spatial resolution of 25 meters.
  • Bedrock elevation from ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey that scans the bedrock along the central flow line and along 15 (roughly equally spaced) cross profiles.
  • Surface Mass Balance: from comprehensive observations of winter accumulation and summer melting over the period 2001-2012 (using traditional glaciology techniques) and corrected in order to generate zero thickness change initially.

Model Settings

  • 30 year long simulation (3-year time step).
  • SMB correction added on top of the initial SMB forcing.
  • Stress Balance: computed using the Shelfy Stream Approximation (MacAyeal et al., 1993).
  • Transient simulation includes stress balance and mass transport.
  • Thermal steady-state, no calving retreat.
  • Results displayed at 3-year time intervals.

How to Run the Simulation

To start the simulation, perturb the mean SMB trend with an anomaly using the slider, then click the "RUN" button. Results will be computed by the JPL ISSM server, downloaded, and rendered as a movie.

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