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  • The Cryosphere (TC)
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: M. Mas e Braga; M. Mas e Braga; R. Selwyn Jones; R. Selwyn Jones; +8 Authors

    Numerical models predict that discharge from the polar ice sheets will become the largest contributor to sea-level rise over the coming centuries. However, the predicted amount of ice discharge and associated thinning depends on how well ice sheet models reproduce glaciological processes, such as ice flow in regions of large topographic relief, where ice flows around bedrock summits (i.e. nunataks) and through outlet glaciers. The ability of ice sheet models to capture long-term ice loss is best tested by comparing model simulations against geological data. A benchmark for such models is ice surface elevation change, which has been constrained empirically at nunataks and along margins of outlet glaciers using cosmogenic exposure dating. However, the usefulness of this approach in quantifying ice sheet thinning relies on how well such records represent changes in regional ice surface elevation. Here we examine how ice surface elevations respond to the presence of strong topographic relief that acts as an obstacle by modelling ice flow around and between idealised nunataks during periods of imposed ice sheet thinning. We find that, for realistic Antarctic conditions, a single nunatak can exert an impact on ice thickness over 20 km away from its summit, with its most prominent effect being a local increase (decrease) of the ice surface elevation of hundreds of metres upstream (downstream) of the obstacle. A direct consequence of this differential surface response for cosmogenic exposure dating is a delay in the time of bedrock exposure upstream relative to downstream of a nunatak summit. A nunatak elongated transversely to ice flow is able to increase ice retention and therefore impose steeper ice surface gradients, while efficient ice drainage through outlet glaciers produces gentler gradients. Such differences, however, are not typically captured by continent-wide ice sheet models due to their coarse grid resolutions. Their inability to capture site-specific surface elevation changes appears to be a key reason for the observed mismatches between the timing of ice-free conditions from cosmogenic exposure dating and model simulations. We conclude that a model grid refinement over complex topography and information about sample position relative to ice flow near the nunatak are necessary to improve data–model comparisons of ice surface elevation and therefore the ability of models to simulate ice discharge in regions of large topographic relief.

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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2021
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2021
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    Authors: S. Hellmann; S. Hellmann; J. Kerch; J. Kerch; +9 Authors

    Crystal orientation fabric (COF) analysis provides information about the c-axis orientation of ice grains and the associated anisotropy and microstructural information about deformation and recrystallisation processes within the glacier. This information can be used to introduce modules that fully describe the microstructural anisotropy or at least direction-dependent enhancement factors for glacier modelling. The COF was studied at an ice core that was obtained from the temperate Rhonegletscher, located in the central Swiss Alps. Seven samples, extracted at depths between 2 and 79 m, were analysed with an automatic fabric analyser. The COF analysis revealed conspicuous four-maxima patterns of the c-axis orientations at all depths. Additional data, such as microstructural images, produced during the ice sample preparation process, were considered to interpret these patterns. Furthermore, repeated high-precision global navigation satellite system (GNSS) surveying allowed the local glacier flow direction to be determined. The relative movements of the individual surveying points indicated longitudinal compressive stresses parallel to the glacier flow. Finally, numerical modelling of the ice flow permitted estimation of the local stress distribution. An integrated analysis of all the data sets provided indications and suggestions for the development of the four-maxima patterns. The centroid of the four-maxima patterns of the individual core samples and the coinciding maximum eigenvector approximately align with the compressive stress directions obtained from numerical modelling with an exception for the deepest sample. The clustering of the c axes in four maxima surrounding the predominant compressive stress direction is most likely the result of a fast migration recrystallisation. This interpretation is supported by air bubble analysis of large-area scanning macroscope (LASM) images. Our results indicate that COF studies, which have so far predominantly been performed on cold ice samples from the polar regions, can also provide valuable insights into the stress and strain rate distribution within temperate glaciers.

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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2021
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2021
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    Authors: Seroussi, Hélène; Nowicki, Sophie; Simon, Erika; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; +35 Authors

    Ice sheet numerical modeling is an important tool to estimate the dynamic contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to sea level rise over the coming centuries. The influence of initial conditions on ice sheet model simulations, however, is still unclear. To better understand this influence, an initial state intercomparison exercise (initMIP) has been developed to compare, evaluate, and improve initialization procedures and estimate their impact on century-scale simulations. initMIP is the first set of experiments of the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6), which is the primary Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) activity focusing on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Following initMIP-Greenland, initMIP-Antarctica has been designed to explore uncertainties associated with model initialization and spin-up and to evaluate the impact of changes in external forcings. Starting from the state of the Antarctic ice sheet at the end of the initialization procedure, three forward experiments are each run for 100 years: a control run, a run with a surface mass balance anomaly, and a run with a basal melting anomaly beneath floating ice. This study presents the results of initMIP-Antarctica from 25 simulations performed by 16 international modeling groups. The submitted results use different initial conditions and initialization methods, as well as ice flow model parameters and reference external forcings. We find a good agreement among model responses to the surface mass balance anomaly but large variations in responses to the basal melting anomaly. These variations can be attributed to differences in the extent of ice shelves and their upstream tributaries, the numerical treatment of grounding line, and the initial ocean conditions applied, suggesting that ongoing efforts to better represent ice shelves in continental-scale models should continue.

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    Authors: Gladstone, Rupert Michael; Warner, Roland Charles; Galton-Fenzi, Benjamin Keith; Gagliardini, Olivier; +2 Authors

    Computer models are necessary for understanding and predicting marine ice sheet behaviour. However, there is uncertainty over implementation of physical processes at the ice base, both for grounded and floating glacial ice. Here we implement several sliding relations in a marine ice sheet flow-line model accounting for all stress components and demonstrate that model resolution requirements are strongly dependent on both the choice of basal sliding relation and the spatial distribution of ice shelf basal melting.Sliding relations that reduce the magnitude of the step change in basal drag from grounded ice to floating ice (where basal drag is set to zero) show reduced dependence on resolution compared to a commonly used relation, in which basal drag is purely a power law function of basal ice velocity. Sliding relations in which basal drag goes smoothly to zero as the grounding line is approached from inland (due to a physically motivated incorporation of effective pressure at the bed) provide further reduction in resolution dependence.A similar issue is found with the imposition of basal melt under the floating part of the ice shelf: melt parameterisations that reduce the abruptness of change in basal melting from grounded ice (where basal melt is set to zero) to floating ice provide improved convergence with resolution compared to parameterisations in which high melt occurs adjacent to the grounding line.Thus physical processes, such as sub-glacial outflow (which could cause high melt near the grounding line), impact on capability to simulate marine ice sheets. If there exists an abrupt change across the grounding line in either basal drag or basal melting, then high resolution will be required to solve the problem. However, the plausible combination of a physical dependency of basal drag on effective pressure, and the possibility of low ice shelf basal melt rates next to the grounding line, may mean that some marine ice sheet systems can be reliably simulated at a coarser resolution than currently thought necessary.

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    Authors: E. Schlosser; E. Schlosser; F. A. Haumann; F. A. Haumann; +1 Authors

    In contrast to the Arctic, where total sea ice extent (SIE) has been decreasing for the last three decades, Antarctic SIE has shown a small, but significant, increase during the same time period. However, in 2016, an unusually early onset of the melt season was observed; the maximum Antarctic SIE was already reached as early as August rather than the end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decay was particularly strong in November, when Antarctic SIE exhibited a negative anomaly (compared to the 1979–2015 average) of approximately 2 million km2. ECMWF Interim reanalysis data showed that the early onset of the melt and the rapid decrease in sea ice area (SIA) and SIE were associated with atmospheric flow patterns related to a positive zonal wave number three (ZW3) index, i.e., synoptic situations leading to strong meridional flow and anomalously strong southward heat advection in the regions of strongest sea ice decline. A persistently positive ZW3 index from May to August suggests that SIE decrease was preconditioned by SIA decrease. In particular, in the first third of November northerly flow conditions in the Weddell Sea and the Western Pacific triggered accelerated sea ice decay, which was continued in the following weeks due to positive feedback effects, leading to the unusually low November SIE. In 2016, the monthly mean Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index reached its second lowest November value since the beginning of the satellite observations. A better spatial and temporal coverage of reliable ice thickness data is needed to assess the change in ice mass rather than ice area.

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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2018
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2018
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    Authors: S. Zwieback; S. Zwieback; S. V. Kokelj; F. Günther; +5 Authors

    Predicting future thaw slump activity requires a sound understanding of the atmospheric drivers and geomorphic controls on mass wasting across a range of timescales. On sub-seasonal timescales, sparse measurements indicate that mass wasting at active slumps is often limited by the energy available for melting ground ice, but other factors such as rainfall or the formation of an insulating veneer may also be relevant. To study the sub-seasonal drivers, we derive topographic changes from single-pass radar interferometric data acquired by the TanDEM-X satellites. The estimated elevation changes at 12 m resolution complement the commonly observed planimetric retreat rates by providing information on volume losses. Their high vertical precision (around 30 cm), frequent observations (11 days) and large coverage (5000 km2) allow us to track mass wasting as drivers such as the available energy change during the summer of 2015 in two study regions. We find that thaw slumps in the Tuktoyaktuk coastlands, Canada, are not energy limited in June, as they undergo limited mass wasting (height loss of around 0 cm day−1) despite the ample available energy, suggesting the widespread presence of early season insulating snow or debris veneer. Later in summer, height losses generally increase (around 3 cm day−1), but they do so in distinct ways. For many slumps, mass wasting tracks the available energy, a temporal pattern that is also observed at coastal yedoma cliffs on the Bykovsky Peninsula, Russia. However, the other two common temporal trajectories are asynchronous with the available energy, as they track strong precipitation events or show a sudden speed-up in late August respectively. The observed temporal patterns are poorly related to slump characteristics like the headwall height. The contrasting temporal behaviour of nearby thaw slumps highlights the importance of complex local and temporally varying controls on mass wasting.

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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2018
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2018
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    Authors: Sørensen, L. L.; Jensen, B.; Glud, R. N.; McGinnis, Daniel Frank; +5 Authors

    We suggest the application of a flux parameterization commonly used over terrestrial areas for calculation of CO2 fluxes over sea ice surfaces. The parameterization is based on resistance analogy. We present a concept for parameterization of the CO2 fluxes over sea ice suggesting to use properties of the atmosphere and sea ice surface that can be measured or calculated on a routine basis. Parameters, which can be used in the conceptual model, are analysed based on data sampled from a seasonal fast-ice area, and the different variables influencing the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and ice are discussed. We found the flux to be small during the late winter with fluxes in both directions. Not surprisingly we find that the resistance across the surface controls the fluxes and detailed knowledge of the brine volume and carbon chemistry within the brines as well as knowledge of snow cover and carbon chemistry in the ice are essential to estimate the partial pressure of pCO2 and CO2 flux. Further investigations of surface structure and snow cover and driving parameters such as heat flux, radiation, ice temperature and brine processes are required to adequately parameterize the surface resistance.

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    OceanRep
    Article . 2014 . Peer-reviewed
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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2014
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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Other literature type . 2018
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      OceanRep
      Article . 2014 . Peer-reviewed
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2014
      Data sources: DOAJ-Articles
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Other literature type . 2018
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    Authors: M. Mas e Braga; M. Mas e Braga; R. Selwyn Jones; R. Selwyn Jones; +8 Authors

    Numerical models predict that discharge from the polar ice sheets will become the largest contributor to sea-level rise over the coming centuries. However, the predicted amount of ice discharge and associated thinning depends on how well ice sheet models reproduce glaciological processes, such as ice flow in regions of large topographic relief, where ice flows around bedrock summits (i.e. nunataks) and through outlet glaciers. The ability of ice sheet models to capture long-term ice loss is best tested by comparing model simulations against geological data. A benchmark for such models is ice surface elevation change, which has been constrained empirically at nunataks and along margins of outlet glaciers using cosmogenic exposure dating. However, the usefulness of this approach in quantifying ice sheet thinning relies on how well such records represent changes in regional ice surface elevation. Here we examine how ice surface elevations respond to the presence of strong topographic relief that acts as an obstacle by modelling ice flow around and between idealised nunataks during periods of imposed ice sheet thinning. We find that, for realistic Antarctic conditions, a single nunatak can exert an impact on ice thickness over 20 km away from its summit, with its most prominent effect being a local increase (decrease) of the ice surface elevation of hundreds of metres upstream (downstream) of the obstacle. A direct consequence of this differential surface response for cosmogenic exposure dating is a delay in the time of bedrock exposure upstream relative to downstream of a nunatak summit. A nunatak elongated transversely to ice flow is able to increase ice retention and therefore impose steeper ice surface gradients, while efficient ice drainage through outlet glaciers produces gentler gradients. Such differences, however, are not typically captured by continent-wide ice sheet models due to their coarse grid resolutions. Their inability to capture site-specific surface elevation changes appears to be a key reason for the observed mismatches between the timing of ice-free conditions from cosmogenic exposure dating and model simulations. We conclude that a model grid refinement over complex topography and information about sample position relative to ice flow near the nunatak are necessary to improve data–model comparisons of ice surface elevation and therefore the ability of models to simulate ice discharge in regions of large topographic relief.

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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2021
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2021
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    Authors: S. Hellmann; S. Hellmann; J. Kerch; J. Kerch; +9 Authors

    Crystal orientation fabric (COF) analysis provides information about the c-axis orientation of ice grains and the associated anisotropy and microstructural information about deformation and recrystallisation processes within the glacier. This information can be used to introduce modules that fully describe the microstructural anisotropy or at least direction-dependent enhancement factors for glacier modelling. The COF was studied at an ice core that was obtained from the temperate Rhonegletscher, located in the central Swiss Alps. Seven samples, extracted at depths between 2 and 79 m, were analysed with an automatic fabric analyser. The COF analysis revealed conspicuous four-maxima patterns of the c-axis orientations at all depths. Additional data, such as microstructural images, produced during the ice sample preparation process, were considered to interpret these patterns. Furthermore, repeated high-precision global navigation satellite system (GNSS) surveying allowed the local glacier flow direction to be determined. The relative movements of the individual surveying points indicated longitudinal compressive stresses parallel to the glacier flow. Finally, numerical modelling of the ice flow permitted estimation of the local stress distribution. An integrated analysis of all the data sets provided indications and suggestions for the development of the four-maxima patterns. The centroid of the four-maxima patterns of the individual core samples and the coinciding maximum eigenvector approximately align with the compressive stress directions obtained from numerical modelling with an exception for the deepest sample. The clustering of the c axes in four maxima surrounding the predominant compressive stress direction is most likely the result of a fast migration recrystallisation. This interpretation is supported by air bubble analysis of large-area scanning macroscope (LASM) images. Our results indicate that COF studies, which have so far predominantly been performed on cold ice samples from the polar regions, can also provide valuable insights into the stress and strain rate distribution within temperate glaciers.

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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2021
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2021
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    Authors: Seroussi, Hélène; Nowicki, Sophie; Simon, Erika; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; +35 Authors

    Ice sheet numerical modeling is an important tool to estimate the dynamic contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to sea level rise over the coming centuries. The influence of initial conditions on ice sheet model simulations, however, is still unclear. To better understand this influence, an initial state intercomparison exercise (initMIP) has been developed to compare, evaluate, and improve initialization procedures and estimate their impact on century-scale simulations. initMIP is the first set of experiments of the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6), which is the primary Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) activity focusing on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Following initMIP-Greenland, initMIP-Antarctica has been designed to explore uncertainties associated with model initialization and spin-up and to evaluate the impact of changes in external forcings. Starting from the state of the Antarctic ice sheet at the end of the initialization procedure, three forward experiments are each run for 100 years: a control run, a run with a surface mass balance anomaly, and a run with a basal melting anomaly beneath floating ice. This study presents the results of initMIP-Antarctica from 25 simulations performed by 16 international modeling groups. The submitted results use different initial conditions and initialization methods, as well as ice flow model parameters and reference external forcings. We find a good agreement among model responses to the surface mass balance anomaly but large variations in responses to the basal melting anomaly. These variations can be attributed to differences in the extent of ice shelves and their upstream tributaries, the numerical treatment of grounding line, and the initial ocean conditions applied, suggesting that ongoing efforts to better represent ice shelves in continental-scale models should continue.

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    Authors: Gladstone, Rupert Michael; Warner, Roland Charles; Galton-Fenzi, Benjamin Keith; Gagliardini, Olivier; +2 Authors

    Computer models are necessary for understanding and predicting marine ice sheet behaviour. However, there is uncertainty over implementation of physical processes at the ice base, both for grounded and floating glacial ice. Here we implement several sliding relations in a marine ice sheet flow-line model accounting for all stress components and demonstrate that model resolution requirements are strongly dependent on both the choice of basal sliding relation and the spatial distribution of ice shelf basal melting.Sliding relations that reduce the magnitude of the step change in basal drag from grounded ice to floating ice (where basal drag is set to zero) show reduced dependence on resolution compared to a commonly used relation, in which basal drag is purely a power law function of basal ice velocity. Sliding relations in which basal drag goes smoothly to zero as the grounding line is approached from inland (due to a physically motivated incorporation of effective pressure at the bed) provide further reduction in resolution dependence.A similar issue is found with the imposition of basal melt under the floating part of the ice shelf: melt parameterisations that reduce the abruptness of change in basal melting from grounded ice (where basal melt is set to zero) to floating ice provide improved convergence with resolution compared to parameterisations in which high melt occurs adjacent to the grounding line.Thus physical processes, such as sub-glacial outflow (which could cause high melt near the grounding line), impact on capability to simulate marine ice sheets. If there exists an abrupt change across the grounding line in either basal drag or basal melting, then high resolution will be required to solve the problem. However, the plausible combination of a physical dependency of basal drag on effective pressure, and the possibility of low ice shelf basal melt rates next to the grounding line, may mean that some marine ice sheet systems can be reliably simulated at a coarser resolution than currently thought necessary.

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    Authors: E. Schlosser; E. Schlosser; F. A. Haumann; F. A. Haumann; +1 Authors

    In contrast to the Arctic, where total sea ice extent (SIE) has been decreasing for the last three decades, Antarctic SIE has shown a small, but significant, increase during the same time period. However, in 2016, an unusually early onset of the melt season was observed; the maximum Antarctic SIE was already reached as early as August rather than the end of September, and was followed by a rapid decrease. The decay was particularly strong in November, when Antarctic SIE exhibited a negative anomaly (compared to the 1979–2015 average) of approximately 2 million km2. ECMWF Interim reanalysis data showed that the early onset of the melt and the rapid decrease in sea ice area (SIA) and SIE were associated with atmospheric flow patterns related to a positive zonal wave number three (ZW3) index, i.e., synoptic situations leading to strong meridional flow and anomalously strong southward heat advection in the regions of strongest sea ice decline. A persistently positive ZW3 index from May to August suggests that SIE decrease was preconditioned by SIA decrease. In particular, in the first third of November northerly flow conditions in the Weddell Sea and the Western Pacific triggered accelerated sea ice decay, which was continued in the following weeks due to positive feedback effects, leading to the unusually low November SIE. In 2016, the monthly mean Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index reached its second lowest November value since the beginning of the satellite observations. A better spatial and temporal coverage of reliable ice thickness data is needed to assess the change in ice mass rather than ice area.

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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2018
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2018
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    Authors: S. Zwieback; S. Zwieback; S. V. Kokelj; F. Günther; +5 Authors

    Predicting future thaw slump activity requires a sound understanding of the atmospheric drivers and geomorphic controls on mass wasting across a range of timescales. On sub-seasonal timescales, sparse measurements indicate that mass wasting at active slumps is often limited by the energy available for melting ground ice, but other factors such as rainfall or the formation of an insulating veneer may also be relevant. To study the sub-seasonal drivers, we derive topographic changes from single-pass radar interferometric data acquired by the TanDEM-X satellites. The estimated elevation changes at 12 m resolution complement the commonly observed planimetric retreat rates by providing information on volume losses. Their high vertical precision (around 30 cm), frequent observations (11 days) and large coverage (5000 km2) allow us to track mass wasting as drivers such as the available energy change during the summer of 2015 in two study regions. We find that thaw slumps in the Tuktoyaktuk coastlands, Canada, are not energy limited in June, as they undergo limited mass wasting (height loss of around 0 cm day−1) despite the ample available energy, suggesting the widespread presence of early season insulating snow or debris veneer. Later in summer, height losses generally increase (around 3 cm day−1), but they do so in distinct ways. For many slumps, mass wasting tracks the available energy, a temporal pattern that is also observed at coastal yedoma cliffs on the Bykovsky Peninsula, Russia. However, the other two common temporal trajectories are asynchronous with the available energy, as they track strong precipitation events or show a sudden speed-up in late August respectively. The observed temporal patterns are poorly related to slump characteristics like the headwall height. The contrasting temporal behaviour of nearby thaw slumps highlights the importance of complex local and temporally varying controls on mass wasting.

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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2018
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2018
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    Authors: Sørensen, L. L.; Jensen, B.; Glud, R. N.; McGinnis, Daniel Frank; +5 Authors

    We suggest the application of a flux parameterization commonly used over terrestrial areas for calculation of CO2 fluxes over sea ice surfaces. The parameterization is based on resistance analogy. We present a concept for parameterization of the CO2 fluxes over sea ice suggesting to use properties of the atmosphere and sea ice surface that can be measured or calculated on a routine basis. Parameters, which can be used in the conceptual model, are analysed based on data sampled from a seasonal fast-ice area, and the different variables influencing the exchange of CO2 between the atmosphere and ice are discussed. We found the flux to be small during the late winter with fluxes in both directions. Not surprisingly we find that the resistance across the surface controls the fluxes and detailed knowledge of the brine volume and carbon chemistry within the brines as well as knowledge of snow cover and carbon chemistry in the ice are essential to estimate the partial pressure of pCO2 and CO2 flux. Further investigations of surface structure and snow cover and driving parameters such as heat flux, radiation, ice temperature and brine processes are required to adequately parameterize the surface resistance.

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    OceanRep
    Article . 2014 . Peer-reviewed
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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Article . 2014
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    The Cryosphere (TC)
    Other literature type . 2018
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      OceanRep
      Article . 2014 . Peer-reviewed
      Data sources: OceanRep
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Article . 2014
      Data sources: DOAJ-Articles
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      The Cryosphere (TC)
      Other literature type . 2018
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