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TitleAssessing patterns and drivers of surface elevation change on Devon Ice Cap
AuthorBernard-Grand'Mason, C; Copland, L; Burgess, DORCID logo
SourcePOLAR 2018, where the poles come together, abstract proceedings, Open Science Conference; 2018 p. 1643
LinksOnline - En ligne - complete volume - volume complet (pdf, 10.5 MB)
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180238
PublisherWSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
MeetingPOLAR 2018; Davos; CH; June 15-26, 2018
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS48H/03; 48H/06
AreaDevon Island; Devon Ice Cap
Lat/Long WENS -83.0000 -82.1667 75.4167 75.0833
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; geophysics; Nature and Environment; glaciology; glaciers; ice; ice thickness; climate; remote sensing; satellite imagery; geodesy; sea level changes; Ice caps; Climate change; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary
ProgramGSC Atlantic Division
Released2018 06 01
AbstractStrongly negative mass balances have been observed for glaciers and ice caps in the Canadian Arctic over the past three decades, with a notable increase since 2005. Major uncertainties in current climate assessment reports include how glacier dynamics will change under these conditions, and the representativeness of in-situ surface mass balance point data extrapolated over broad spatial scales. In this study, we co-register a suite of digital elevation data of various resolutions (i.e. ArcticDEM, TanDEM-X, CryoSat-2, IceSAT and NASA airborne laser altimetry) available for Devon ice cap. From these datasets, we calculate volume change and estimate the geodetic mass balance of Devon ice cap for distinct time periods over the past 20+ years. Our focus is primarily over the northwest basin of the ice cap where in-situ surface mass balance has been measured since 1961. An integrated analysis of available ice surface velocities and derived surface elevation change is used to isolate thickness change solely due to surface mass balance (accumulation and melt), providing an independent validation to the long-term glaciological mass balance dataset. Results from this study will increase our knowledge of the reliability of this historical mass balance dataset, and associated estimates of the contribution of Devon ice cap to non-steric sea level rise since the 1960s.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Annual in-situ measurements of glacier surface mass balance provide quantitative science-based information about the primary factors that control geometric and mass change of glaciers: ie. i) annual balance between total annual accumulation via snowfall and ii) ablation via melt runoff. Decadal scale in-situ measurements of glacier surface mass balance therefore provide a reliable indicator of the climate trends a monitored glacier is subjected to, as well as a quantitative basis for estimating total contribution to sea-level rise and regional hydrology. Uncertainty in reported measurements of surface mass balance however can be introduced through extrapolation of point surface mass balance measurements across the ice cap or glacier basin in which they were collected. Through deriving an independent estimate of mass change of the Northwest sector of the Devon ice cap from remote sensing methods, this project will identify any potential systematic biases in the long-term (1960-present) in-situ record.

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