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Innovative perspectives in studying the mass balance of mountain glaciers / by Stephan Peter Galos
AuthorGalos, Stephan Peter
CensorCullen, Nicolas ; Zemp, Michael
Thesis advisorKaser, Georg ; Mölg, Thomas
PublishedInnsbruck, April 2018
Descriptionxx, 189 Seiten ; 30 cm : Illustrationen, Diagramme, Karten
Institutional NoteUniversity of Innsbruck, Dissertation, 2018
Date of SubmissionApril 2018
Document typeDissertation (PhD)
Keywords (DE)Gletscher / Massenbilanz / Klimaänderung / Wasserverfügbarkeit / Laser-Scan / Langenferner / Hintereisferner / Vinschgau / Val Venosta / Turbulente Flüsse / Gletschermonitoring
Keywords (EN)glacier / mass balance / climate change / water availability / laser-scan / Langenferner / Hintereisferner / Vinschgau / Val Venosta / turbulent fluxes / glacier monitoring / Vedretta Lunga
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubi:1-23622 Persistent Identifier (URN)
 The work is publicly available
Innovative perspectives in studying the mass balance of mountain glaciers [95.88 mb]
Abstract (German)

Massenbilanzreihen von Gletschern repräsentieren wichtige Datensätze im Feld der Klima- und Umweltwissenschaft. Sie sind die Basis für Projektionen zum globalen Meeresspiegelanstieg oder zur Wasserverfügbarkeit auf lokaler oder regionaler Skala. Nicht zuletzt stellen sie wichtige Klimazeiger dar, zumal die Massenbilanz eines Gletschers die direkte Beziehung zwischen Gletscheränderungen und Variationen/Änderungen des Klimas widerspiegelt.

Die vorliegende Dissertation bietet eine Reihe an innovativen Ansätzen im Forschungsfeld "Massenbilanz von Gletschern". Es werden neue Datensätze präsentiert, neuartige Methoden angewandt und entsprechende Ergebnisse vorgestellt.

Abstract (English)

Records of glacier mass balance represent important data in environmental science as they enable projections of sea level rise or assessments of local to regional water availability.Not least, they constitute important climate-proxies since the mass balance of a glacier directly links glacier change to uctuations and changes in climate. This thesis provides aseries of innovative scientific perspectives within the field of glacier mass balance research.It presents new data, applies novel methods and offers fresh insights.In Chapter 2 the geodetic mass balances of 92 glaciers in the Vinschgau are combined with direct glaciological data of Langenferner to assess the contribution of glacier retreat to the total river discharge in this dry inner-alpine catchment.In Chapter 3 high resolution airborne laser-scans are used to calculate annual geodetic mass balances for Hintereisferner over the period 2001 to 2011. The corresponding reanalysis of the glaciological mass balance record identifies three years where a deficient measurement set-up caused large errors in the annual glaciological balances.Chapter 4 addresses inconsistencies in the mass balance record of Langenferner. It is shown that methodical shortcomings, common to many mass balance programs, can introduce large errors in annual and seasonal mass balances and that a more thoroughconsideration of these issues significantly improves the quality of glacier wide analyses. The elaborate reanalysis framework presented includes an innovative uncertainty assessment scheme which can be applied to most other mass balance records.Chapter 5 presents a new approach for filtering the signal of long term mass balance records for the impacts of changing glacier geometry. The procedure is applied to derive a common climate signal from a sample of mass balance records from glaciers spread overthe range of the European Alps. The method is easy to adapt as it is based on point observations and a minimal statistical model which works at low computational costs.The procedure is, hence, well suitable for enhanced climatological analyses of glacier mass balance variations on large spatial and temporal scales.In Chapter 6 an idealized Large Eddy Simulation (LES) approach is applied to investigate a current key problem in process based glacier mass balance modeling which is the spatio-temporal variability of micro-meteorological fields over the complex topography ofmountain glaciers. The procedure is used to emphasize shortcomings in the representation of the sensible heat flux in current energy balance studies. It is shown that corresponding errors can reach the order of 100 W/m which affects process-related interpretations andmodel-derived climate sensitivities of glaciers.

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