Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.790 IF 4.790
  • IF 5-year value: 5.921 IF 5-year
    5.921
  • CiteScore value: 5.27 CiteScore
    5.27
  • SNIP value: 1.551 SNIP 1.551
  • IPP value: 5.08 IPP 5.08
  • SJR value: 3.016 SJR 3.016
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 63 Scimago H
    index 63
  • h5-index value: 51 h5-index 51
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-174
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-174
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 18 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Debris cover and the thinning of Kennicott Glacier, Alaska, Part A:in situ mass balance measurements

Leif S. Anderson1,2, Robert S. Anderson1, Pascal Buri3, and William H. Armstrong1,4 Leif S. Anderson et al.
  • 1Department of Geological Sciences and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Campus Box 450, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
  • 2GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, 2156 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
  • 4Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Appalachian State University,033 Rankin Science West, ASU Box32067, Boone, NC 28608-2067, USA

Abstract. The mass balance of many Alaskan glaciers is perturbed by debris cover. Yet the effect of debris on glacier response to climate change in Alaska has largely been overlooked. In three companion papers we assess the role of debris, ice dynamics, and surface processes in thinning Kennicott Glacier. In Part A, we report in situ measurements from the glacier surface. In Part B, we develop a method to delineate ice cliffs using high-resolution imagery and produce distributed mass balance estimates. In Part C we explore feedbacks that contribute to glacier thinning.

Here in Part A, we describe data collected in the summer of 2011. We measured debris thickness (109 locations), sub-debris melt (74), and ice cliff backwasting (60) data from the debris-covered tongue. We also measured air-temperature (3 locations) and internal-debris temperature (10). The mean debris thermal conductivity was 1.06 W (m C)−1, increasing non-linearly with debris thickness. Mean debris thicknesses increase toward the terminus and margin where surface velocities are low. Despite the relatively high air temperatures above thick debris, the melt-insulating effect of debris dominates. Sub-debris melt rates ranged from 6.5 cm d−1 where debris is thin to 1.25 cm d−1 where debris is thick near the terminus. Ice cliff backwasting rates varied from 3 to 14 cm d−1 with a mean of 7.1 cm d−1 and tended to increase as elevation declined and debris thickness increased. Ice cliff backwasting rates are similar to those measured on debris-covered glaciers in High Mountain Asia and the Alps.

Leif S. Anderson et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 14 Nov 2019)
Status: open (until 14 Nov 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Leif S. Anderson et al.
Leif S. Anderson et al.
Viewed  
Total article views: 161 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
120 40 1 161 0 0
  • HTML: 120
  • PDF: 40
  • XML: 1
  • Total: 161
  • BibTeX: 0
  • EndNote: 0
Views and downloads (calculated since 18 Sep 2019)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 18 Sep 2019)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 52 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 52 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
No saved metrics found.
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 16 Oct 2019
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Thick rock cover (or debris) disturbs the melt of many Alaskan glaciers. Yet the effect of debris on glacier thinning in Alaska has been overlooked. In three companion papers we assess the role of debris and ice flow on the thinning of Kennicott Glacier. In Part A, we report measurements from the glacier surface. We measured surface debris thickness, melt under debris, and the rate of ice cliff backwasting. These data allow for further studies linking debris to glacier shrinkage in Alaska.
Thick rock cover (or debris) disturbs the melt of many Alaskan glaciers. Yet the effect of...
Citation