Elmer/Ice News

SVIFT1.0: The Ice-Free Topography of Svalbard

shmipSvalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic, north of Norway, which is comparable in size to the New York metropolitan area. Roughly half of it is covered by glacier ice. Yet to this day, the ice volume stored in the many glaciers on Svalbard is not well known. Many attempts have been made to infer a total volume estimate, but results differ substantially. This surprises because of the long research activity in this area. A large record of more than 1 million thickness measurements exists, making Svalbard an ideal study area for the application of a state-of-the-art mapping approach for glacier ice thickness. The mapping approach computes an ice volume that will raise global sea level by more than half an inch if instantaneously melted. If spread over the metropolitan area, New York would be buried beneath a 100-m ice cover. The asset of this approach is that it provides not only a thickness map for each glacier on the archipelago but also an error map that defines the likely local thickness range. Finally, we provide the first well-informed estimate of the ice front thickness of all marine-terminating glaciers that loose icebergs to the ocean. The archipelago-wide mean ice front cliff is 135 m. The first version of the Svalbard ice-free topography (SVIFT1.0) is publicly available here

Read More:  Fürst, J. J., Navarro, F., Gillet‐Chaulet, F., Huss, M., Moholdt, G., Fettweis, X., et al. 2018. The ice‐free topography of Svalbard. Geophysical Research Letters, 45. doi:10.1029/2018GL079734

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