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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-37
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-37
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Mar 2018

Submitted as: research article | 02 Mar 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.

Ice flow velocity as a sensitive indicator of glacier state

Martin Stocker-Waldhuber1,2, Andrea Fischer1, Kay Helfricht1, and Michael Kuhn3 Martin Stocker-Waldhuber et al.
  • 1Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Innsbruck, 6020, Austria
  • 2Department of Geography, Physical Geography, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, 85072, Germany
  • 3Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, 6020, Austria

Abstract. Climatic forcing affects glacier length changes, mass balance and ice flow dynamics on different time scales and also dependent on topography. The first two of these parameters are operationally used for glacier monitoring, whereas only a few time series of glacier dynamics exist with the potential to serve as long-term indicators of glacier response to climate change. With more than 100 years of measurements of ice flow velocities at stakes and stone lines on Hintereisferner (HEF) and more than 50 years on Kesselwandferner (KWF), records of annual velocity change are as long as records of glacier fluctuations. Interannual variations of ice flow velocities and shorter supporting interpretations of long-term records have been measured on Gepatschferner (GPF) and Taschachferner (TSF) for nearly 10 years. The ice flow velocities on Hintereisferner and especially on Kesselwandferner show great variations between advancing and retreating periods, with magnitudes increasing from the highest to the lowest stakes, making ice flow records at ablation stakes a very sensitive indicator of glacier state. Since the end of the latest glacier advances from the 1970s to the 1980s, the ice flow velocities have decreased continuously, a strong sign of the severe retreat of the glaciers in recent decades.

Martin Stocker-Waldhuber et al.
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Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Martin Stocker-Waldhuber et al.
Martin Stocker-Waldhuber et al.
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