Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers

Horst Machguth, Henrik H. Thomsen, Anker Weidick, Andreas P. Ahlstrøm, Jakob Abermann, Morten L. Andersen, Signe B. Andersen, Anders A. Bjørk, Jason E. Box, Roger J. Braithwaite, Carl Egede Bøggild, Michele Citterio, Poul Clement, William Colgan, Robert S. Fausto, Karin Gleie, Stefanie Gubler, Bent Hasholt, Bernhard Hynek, Niels T. KnudsenSigne H. Larsen, Sebastian H. Mernild, Johannes Oerlemans, Hans Oerter, Ole B. Olesen, C. J. P. Paul Smeets, Konrad Steffen, Manfred Stober, Shin Sugiyama, Dirk van As, Michiel R. van den Broeke, Roderik S. W. van de Wal

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Abstract

Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in glacier melt independently from model output. Here, we present a comprehensive database of Greenland glacier surface mass-balance observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. The database spans the 123 a from 1892 to 2015, contains a total of similar to 3000 measurements from 46 sites, and is openly accessible through the PROMICE web portal (http://www.promice.dk). For each measurement we provide X, Y and Z coordinates, starting and ending dates as well as quality flags. We give sources for each entry and for all metadata. Two thirds of the data were collected from grey literature and unpublished archive documents. Roughly 60% of the measurements were performed by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS, previously GGU). The data cover all regions of Greenland except for the southernmost part of the east coast, but also emphasize the importance of long-term time series of which there are only two exceeding 20 a. We use the data to analyse uncertainties in point measurements of surface mass balance, as well as to estimate surface mass-balance profiles for most regions of Greenland.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Volume62
Issue number235
Pages (from-to)861-887
Number of pages27
ISSN0022-1430
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence

Keywords

  • Glacier and ice caps
  • Ice sheet
  • Surface mass balance

Cite this

Machguth, H., Thomsen, H. H., Weidick, A., Ahlstrøm, A. P., Abermann, J., Andersen, M. L., Andersen, S. B., Bjørk, A. A., Box, J. E., Braithwaite, R. J., Bøggild, C. E., Citterio, M., Clement, P., Colgan, W., Fausto, R. S., Gleie, K., Gubler, S., Hasholt, B., Hynek, B., ... van de Wal, R. S. W. (2016). Greenland surface mass-balance observations from the ice-sheet ablation area and local glaciers. Journal of Glaciology, 62(235), 861-887. https://doi.org/10.1017/jog.2016.75