The influence of a supraglacial debris cover on the mass balance, dynamics and climate change response of the Djankuat Glacier, Caucasus, Russian Federation

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceOther

4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We use a 1D steady state glacier model to examine the influence of the presence of a supraglacial debris cover on the properties, behavior and climate change response of the Djankuat Glacier, a World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) reference glacier situated in the North Caucasus (Russian Federation). The model consists of coupled ice flow and mass balance components and also includes the spatio-temporal evolution of a supraglacial debris cover. The main results show that the presence of a thick and widespread debris cover causes the mass balance gradient in the ablation zone to dampen or even reverse through its melt-reducing effect. When responding to a warming climate, the process of ice mass loss on the debris-covered glacier is therefore modelled to become drastically suppressed. Mass loss is furthermore found to largely consist out of a thinning of the ablation zone rather than glacier retreat, the latter of which is significantly delayed and coincides with a relatively slower response to climate change, both in terms of length and volume. When compared to a clean ice glacier in the same climatic setting, the resulting steady state debris-covered glacier hence tends to provide a larger total runoff volume due to the formation of a relatively long, slow flowing ablation zone. The above-mentioned processes are found to be more pronounced for an increasingly thick and extensive debris cover and can be important in the sense of water resource management and hazardous threats for downstream areas and other (in)directly involved people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-1
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2021
EventEGU General Assembly 2021 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 19 Apr 202130 Apr 2021
https://www.egu21.eu/

Conference

ConferenceEGU General Assembly 2021
Abbreviated titlevEGU21
CountryAustria
CityVienna
Period19/04/2130/04/21
Internet address

Bibliographical note

vPICO presentation.

Keywords

  • glacier
  • Modelling studies
  • Numerical model
  • Climate change

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of a supraglacial debris cover on the mass balance, dynamics and climate change response of the Djankuat Glacier, Caucasus, Russian Federation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this