Surface energy balance model of Helheim Glacier, Southeast Greenland

M.L. Andersen, T.B. Larsen, M. Nettles, P. Elosegui, A.P. Ahlstrøm, L.A. Stearns, G.S. Hamilton, K. Schild, J.L. Davis, J. de Juan, G. Ekström, R. Forsberg, S.A. Khan, L. Stenseng

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract in journal


We present a distributed surface energy balance model of Helheim Glacier based on data collected by Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs) in the summer of 2008. Measurements were made at two sites in the ablation zone, at different elevations, overlapping in operation period. Using a digital elevation model we quantify the melt over the entire glacier taking topographic shading and reflection effects into account. A spatial model of the melt rates can be used to search for a correlation between these and occurrences of rapid glacier movement as a test of the hypothesis of melt water-lubricated enhanced flow. This correlation can also provide a basis for estimating the time-lag between melt water generation at the surface and its arrival at the bed through moulins, channels and the like. In addition to quantifying direct mass-loss processes, the model output has multiple uses in future efforts, e.g. crevasse-spreading models or salinity studies of the fjord.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberC42A-05
JournalEos Trans. AGU
Issue number53, Fall Meet. Suppl.
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAGU Fall Meeting 2008 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 15 Dec 200819 Dec 2008

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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