2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 334-8
Presentation Time: 2:35 PM

TRENDS BETWEEN TRANSIENT SNOWLINE MIGRATION AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF SNOW ACCUMULATION LEMON CREEK GLACIER, ALASKA


MCNEIL, Christopher, Environmental Science, Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage, AK 99508, GINDRAUX, Saskia, WSL Institute for Snow and Avalance Research, Davos, Ch-7260, Switzerland, BRETT, Melissa, Department of Geology, Radford Univ, P.O. Box 6939, Radford, VA 24142, BEATY, Danielle, Geography; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, RONDEAU, Luc, Geology Department, University Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99508, BRAUN, Carmen, Earth Science and Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada, ROSENKRANS, Hannah, Geoscience and Geography, University Montana, Missoula, MT 59812 and ARNELL, Kristin, Earth Science and Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York City, NY 10027, cmcneil@alaskapacific.edu

The Juneau Icefield Research Program has observed annual surface mass balance on the Lemon Creek Glacier since 1953 but lacks ablation data at the end of the hydrological year. The current procedure is to use snow pit data collected mid-July and extrapolate the values to the end of the ablation season by using the Transient Snow Line (TSL) migration rate. However, this method assumes a laterally consistent ablation rate over the glacier, which might lead to errors in the amount of melt and position of the Equilibrium-Line Altitude (ELA). To further examine this assumption, we use lateral probing profiles along with the snow pits to better quantify the TSL migration, ablation rate variability, and their correlation with snow distribution. The potential to better estimate the mass balance gradient from this method will provide a more accurate calculation of annual mass balance applicable on numerous glaciers for many years.