Mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

Douglas Mair, David Burgess, Martin Sharp, Julian A Dowdeswell, Toby Benham, Shawn Marshall, Fiona Cawkwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper estimates the mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Canada, averaged over four decades, from measurements of surface mass balance (SMB) and iceberg calving. Shallow ice core net accumulation measurements and annual mass balance stake measurements are used in conjunction with a digital elevation model and knowledge of the location of the dominant moisture source for precipitation over the ice cap to interpolate and extrapolate spatial patterns of SMB across the Prince of Wales Icefield. The contribution of iceberg calving to the mass balance is calculated from estimates of (1) the annual volume of ice discharged at the major tidewater glacier termini and (2) the annual volume loss or gain due to terminus fluctuations. Two different approaches to determining the SMB conclude that the SMB of the ice field is approximately in balance (average equals -0.1 ± 0.4 km3 w.e. a-1, where w.e. means water equivalent) largely because of its proximity to the main year-round moisture source that is the Smith Sound portion of the North Open Water polynya. Iceberg calving is a highly significant component of mass loss (-1.9 ± 0.2 km3 w.e. a-1) and is sufficient to make the overall mass balance of the ice field averaged over the period 1963–2003 clearly negative (-2 ± 0.45 km3 w.e. a-1, equivalent to a mean-specific mass balance across the ice field of -0.1 m w.e. a-1). The Prince of Wales Icefield contributes ~0.005 mm a-1 to global eustatic sea level rise.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberF02011
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
Volume114
Issue numberF2
Early online date29 Apr 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

Fingerprint

Nunavut
Wales
mass balance
Ice
Canada
ice
iceberg calving
icebergs
ice field
Moisture
calving
Glaciers
moisture
Water
Sea level
tidewater glacier
digital elevation models
polynya
glaciers
ice cap

Keywords

  • Prince of Wales Icefield
  • mass balance
  • Arctic

Cite this

Mair, D., Burgess, D., Sharp, M., Dowdeswell, J. A., Benham, T., Marshall, S., & Cawkwell, F. (2009). Mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 114(F2), [F02011]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008JF001082

Mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. / Mair, Douglas; Burgess, David; Sharp, Martin; Dowdeswell, Julian A; Benham, Toby; Marshall, Shawn; Cawkwell, Fiona.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, Vol. 114, No. F2, F02011, 06.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mair, D, Burgess, D, Sharp, M, Dowdeswell, JA, Benham, T, Marshall, S & Cawkwell, F 2009, 'Mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada', Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, vol. 114, no. F2, F02011. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008JF001082
Mair, Douglas ; Burgess, David ; Sharp, Martin ; Dowdeswell, Julian A ; Benham, Toby ; Marshall, Shawn ; Cawkwell, Fiona. / Mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface. 2009 ; Vol. 114, No. F2.
@article{c4ab3a56f029415b9bcfb1fdc3b72f35,
title = "Mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada",
abstract = "This paper estimates the mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Canada, averaged over four decades, from measurements of surface mass balance (SMB) and iceberg calving. Shallow ice core net accumulation measurements and annual mass balance stake measurements are used in conjunction with a digital elevation model and knowledge of the location of the dominant moisture source for precipitation over the ice cap to interpolate and extrapolate spatial patterns of SMB across the Prince of Wales Icefield. The contribution of iceberg calving to the mass balance is calculated from estimates of (1) the annual volume of ice discharged at the major tidewater glacier termini and (2) the annual volume loss or gain due to terminus fluctuations. Two different approaches to determining the SMB conclude that the SMB of the ice field is approximately in balance (average equals -0.1 ± 0.4 km3 w.e. a-1, where w.e. means water equivalent) largely because of its proximity to the main year-round moisture source that is the Smith Sound portion of the North Open Water polynya. Iceberg calving is a highly significant component of mass loss (-1.9 ± 0.2 km3 w.e. a-1) and is sufficient to make the overall mass balance of the ice field averaged over the period 1963–2003 clearly negative (-2 ± 0.45 km3 w.e. a-1, equivalent to a mean-specific mass balance across the ice field of -0.1 m w.e. a-1). The Prince of Wales Icefield contributes ~0.005 mm a-1 to global eustatic sea level rise.",
keywords = "Prince of Wales Icefield, mass balance, Arctic",
author = "Douglas Mair and David Burgess and Martin Sharp and Dowdeswell, {Julian A} and Toby Benham and Shawn Marshall and Fiona Cawkwell",
year = "2009",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1029/2008JF001082",
language = "English",
volume = "114",
journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface",
issn = "2169-9003",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "F2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada

AU - Mair, Douglas

AU - Burgess, David

AU - Sharp, Martin

AU - Dowdeswell, Julian A

AU - Benham, Toby

AU - Marshall, Shawn

AU - Cawkwell, Fiona

PY - 2009/6

Y1 - 2009/6

N2 - This paper estimates the mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Canada, averaged over four decades, from measurements of surface mass balance (SMB) and iceberg calving. Shallow ice core net accumulation measurements and annual mass balance stake measurements are used in conjunction with a digital elevation model and knowledge of the location of the dominant moisture source for precipitation over the ice cap to interpolate and extrapolate spatial patterns of SMB across the Prince of Wales Icefield. The contribution of iceberg calving to the mass balance is calculated from estimates of (1) the annual volume of ice discharged at the major tidewater glacier termini and (2) the annual volume loss or gain due to terminus fluctuations. Two different approaches to determining the SMB conclude that the SMB of the ice field is approximately in balance (average equals -0.1 ± 0.4 km3 w.e. a-1, where w.e. means water equivalent) largely because of its proximity to the main year-round moisture source that is the Smith Sound portion of the North Open Water polynya. Iceberg calving is a highly significant component of mass loss (-1.9 ± 0.2 km3 w.e. a-1) and is sufficient to make the overall mass balance of the ice field averaged over the period 1963–2003 clearly negative (-2 ± 0.45 km3 w.e. a-1, equivalent to a mean-specific mass balance across the ice field of -0.1 m w.e. a-1). The Prince of Wales Icefield contributes ~0.005 mm a-1 to global eustatic sea level rise.

AB - This paper estimates the mass balance of the Prince of Wales Icefield, Ellesmere Island, Canada, averaged over four decades, from measurements of surface mass balance (SMB) and iceberg calving. Shallow ice core net accumulation measurements and annual mass balance stake measurements are used in conjunction with a digital elevation model and knowledge of the location of the dominant moisture source for precipitation over the ice cap to interpolate and extrapolate spatial patterns of SMB across the Prince of Wales Icefield. The contribution of iceberg calving to the mass balance is calculated from estimates of (1) the annual volume of ice discharged at the major tidewater glacier termini and (2) the annual volume loss or gain due to terminus fluctuations. Two different approaches to determining the SMB conclude that the SMB of the ice field is approximately in balance (average equals -0.1 ± 0.4 km3 w.e. a-1, where w.e. means water equivalent) largely because of its proximity to the main year-round moisture source that is the Smith Sound portion of the North Open Water polynya. Iceberg calving is a highly significant component of mass loss (-1.9 ± 0.2 km3 w.e. a-1) and is sufficient to make the overall mass balance of the ice field averaged over the period 1963–2003 clearly negative (-2 ± 0.45 km3 w.e. a-1, equivalent to a mean-specific mass balance across the ice field of -0.1 m w.e. a-1). The Prince of Wales Icefield contributes ~0.005 mm a-1 to global eustatic sea level rise.

KW - Prince of Wales Icefield

KW - mass balance

KW - Arctic

U2 - 10.1029/2008JF001082

DO - 10.1029/2008JF001082

M3 - Article

VL - 114

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface

SN - 2169-9003

IS - F2

M1 - F02011

ER -