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Changes in dynamics, thermal state and drainage system of high arctic glaciers on Svalbard using glacio-speleological methods

This project aims to conduct glacio-speleological (ice cave science) studies of three small glaciers in the high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard: Tellbreen, Scott Turnerbreen, and an unnamed glacier on Nordenskioldtoppen (informally named Nordbreen). All three glaciers are cold based, very slowly moving, and with strongly negative mass balance (Bael

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Project date

Starts
2011-08-01

Ends
2013-02-27

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Project Keywords

  • cryosphere / glaciers/ice sheets / glaciers
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Summary

This project aims to conduct glacio-speleological (ice cave science) studies of three small glaciers in the high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard: Tellbreen, Scott Turnerbreen, and an unnamed glacier on Nordenskioldtoppen (informally named Nordbreen). All three glaciers are cold based, very slowly moving, and with strongly negative mass balance (Baelum & Benn, 2011; Hodgkins, 1997; Lukas et al., 2005). The presence of striated clasts on the surface and in the glacier forefield of all three glaciers indicates that they were at least partly warm-based at their Little Ice Age (LIA) maxima in the late 19th - early 20th Centuries. It is hypothesized that the three glaciers were more dynamically active during the LIA, and responded to 20th Century warming by mass loss, and changes to their thermal state and drainage system evolution. Ice cave entrances have been identified and marked on each of the glaciers, which will allow direct access to their interiors, and at most to their bed, in the winter and spring seasons.

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