Re: Glacier mass balance project

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Re: Glacier mass balance project

Wendell Tangborn
Dear Ben,
 
The Mirage Glacier sound like an ideal test case for the PTAA model
.
We have had a little experience using the PTAA model with a debris-covered glacier in Nepal and published a short paper -  Mass Balance and runoff of the partially debris-covered Langtang Glacier, Nepal by Tangborn and Rana, which can be found on GlacierChange.org
 
A finely-divided area-altitude distribution is critical for this model - a 20 meter elevation difference for each interval is much preferable to 50 meters.  The smaller the interval, the more likely the calibration process will produce an accurate mass balance record.  The Wrangell Glacier study in Alaska ( MS thesis by David Korn, also on GlacierChange.org) used a 30 meter interval and produced excellent mass balance results. 
 
Daily precipitation and temperature observations from a nearby weather station for at least 30 years is also important.  The distance from the glacier is less important than data quality.  Stations as far as 300 km from the glacier have produced a 50 year record of accurate mass balances   Having several stations to test is worthwhile - if they are available.
 
I look forward to working with you and others in your organization.
 
Best Regards
 
Wendell  
 
On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 8:14 AM, Benjamin Brock <[hidden email]> wrote:

Dear Wendell,

 

We can offer data for the Miage glacier in the Italian Alps. This might be a useful test case for incorporating debris-cover into the PTAA model as it is a well studied glacier with a large (for an alpine glacier) area of debris-cover (about 5km2). Through a joint Milan-Dundee-Edinburgh-Northumbria Universities project we have mapped the thickness and distribution of supraglacial debris using satellite and field measurements together with sub-debris ablation measurements and development of a melt model. The melt rate is more sensitive to debris thickness than air temperature variations, so it is important to account for debris thickness in calculating daily melt from air temperature. I am not familiar with how the PTAA model works, but it might be possible to generate a weighted mean degree day factor for the debris-covered part.

 

There are several possible sources of meteorological data. What time period do you need?

 

Kind regards,

Ben

 

 

Dr Ben Brock

Reader in Remote Sensing

Geography and Environment

School of the Built and Natural Environment

Ellison Building

Northumbria University

Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE1 8ST

 

T. 0191 227 3225

E. [hidden email]

 

 




--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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Re: Glacier Mass Balance Project

Wendell Tangborn
Dear Brandon,
 
Thanks for your interest in collaborating on the glacier mass balance project.  Calculating the historical mass balance of glaciers in the Himalayas is extremely important as they appear to be losing mass at a greater rate than in other regions of the earth.  The mass balance of glaciers in Mongolia has never been done using the PTAA model and would be a very worthwhile addition to this project.
 
Send me the AA data you have collected so far, including glacier name, Latitude and Longitude, area and mean altitude.  Attached is an AA file for the Bering Glacier that can be used as a guide
Let me know if you have questions.
 
Regards
 
Wendell
 

 
On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 9:04 PM, Brandon Krumwiede <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello Wendell,

I have been catching up on the current discussion on the Cryolist regarding the Glacier Mass Balance Project.  I am writing to express my interest in assisting with this project where/when needed.  I have been working with Donald Alford performing glacial hypsometry from SRTM DEMs for the Karakoram and surrounding area, following up on the similar work performed by Adina and Donald in the Himalayas.  I have also been performing similar DEM analysis in the Mongolian Altai working with Dr. Ulrich Kamp from the University of Montana.  It would be interesting to apply the model to the glaciers in Mongolia to determine the glacier mass balance using the PTAA model, as I believe that this has yet to b performed.  As always, ready to help.

Sincerely,

Brandon Krumwiede
Independent Researcher
[hidden email]



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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Re: Glacier Mass Balance Project

Adina Racoviteanu
Dear Wendell, and all-
thanks again for the initiative to revive the PTAA model for the Himalaya.

just a few words of clairfication: the Himalayas are not the fastest changing glaciers on earth as far as we know. This is indeed the case for small glaciers with small altitudinal range, and with most mass below the regional ELA (such as AX010, Yala, Rikha Samba glaciers in Nepal)- however as  far as we know, this is not uniform across the Himalaya and certainly not for large debris covered glaciers which need to be studied in more detail. Just want to emphasize the need for all of us working in the Himalaya to be very cautious about our statements, which tend to be magnified or mis-interpreted in the media these days.

As I mentioned in my previous email, I am happy to contribute some AA profiles.

thanks,
Adina



On Sat, Aug 20, 2011 at 3:38 PM, wendell Tangborn <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear Brandon,
 
Thanks for your interest in collaborating on the glacier mass balance project.  Calculating the historical mass balance of glaciers in the Himalayas is extremely important as they appear to be losing mass at a greater rate than in other regions of the earth.  The mass balance of glaciers in Mongolia has never been done using the PTAA model and would be a very worthwhile addition to this project.
 
Send me the AA data you have collected so far, including glacier name, Latitude and Longitude, area and mean altitude.  Attached is an AA file for the Bering Glacier that can be used as a guide
Let me know if you have questions.
 
Regards
 
Wendell
 

 
On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 9:04 PM, Brandon Krumwiede <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello Wendell,

I have been catching up on the current discussion on the Cryolist regarding the Glacier Mass Balance Project.  I am writing to express my interest in assisting with this project where/when needed.  I have been working with Donald Alford performing glacial hypsometry from SRTM DEMs for the Karakoram and surrounding area, following up on the similar work performed by Adina and Donald in the Himalayas.  I have also been performing similar DEM analysis in the Mongolian Altai working with Dr. Ulrich Kamp from the University of Montana.  It would be interesting to apply the model to the glaciers in Mongolia to determine the glacier mass balance using the PTAA model, as I believe that this has yet to b performed.  As always, ready to help.

Sincerely,

Brandon Krumwiede
Independent Researcher
[hidden email]



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" value="+12065674077" target="_blank">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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Adina Racoviteanu

Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
1560 30th St, UCB 450
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309
Ph:(303)-492-5546, Fax (303)-492-6388
email: [hidden email]
http://snobear.colorado.edu/Adina
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