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Ice volume estimates for the Himalaya–Karakoram region: evaluating different methods


Frey, Holger; Machguth, Horst; Huss, Matthias; Huggel, Christian; Bajracharya, Samjwal; Bolch, Tobias; Kulkarni, Anil V; Linsbauer, Andreas; Salzmann, Nadine; Stoffel, Markus (2013). Ice volume estimates for the Himalaya–Karakoram region: evaluating different methods. Cryosphere Discussions, 7(5):4813-4854.

Abstract

Ice volume estimates are crucial for assessing water reserves stored in glaciers. A variety of different methodologies exist but there is a lack of systematic comparative analysis thereof. Due to its large glacier coverage, such estimates are of particular interest for the Himalayan-Karakoram (HK) region. Here, three volume–area V–A) relations, a slope-dependent estimation method, and two ice-thickness distribution models are applied to a complete glacier inventory of the HK region. An uncertainty and sensitivity assessment is performed to investigate the influence of the input glacier areas, and model approaches and parameters on the resulting total ice volumes. Results of the two ice-thickness distribution models are validated with local ice-thickness measurements at six glaciers. The resulting ice volumes for the entire HK region range from 2955km³ to 6455km³, depending on the approach. Results from the ice thickness distribution models and the slope-dependent thickness estimations agree well with measured local ice thicknesses while V–A relations show stronger deviations. The study provides evidence on the significant effect of the selected method on results and underlines the
importance of a careful and critical evaluation. More ice-thickness measurements are needed to improve models and results in the future.

Abstract

Ice volume estimates are crucial for assessing water reserves stored in glaciers. A variety of different methodologies exist but there is a lack of systematic comparative analysis thereof. Due to its large glacier coverage, such estimates are of particular interest for the Himalayan-Karakoram (HK) region. Here, three volume–area V–A) relations, a slope-dependent estimation method, and two ice-thickness distribution models are applied to a complete glacier inventory of the HK region. An uncertainty and sensitivity assessment is performed to investigate the influence of the input glacier areas, and model approaches and parameters on the resulting total ice volumes. Results of the two ice-thickness distribution models are validated with local ice-thickness measurements at six glaciers. The resulting ice volumes for the entire HK region range from 2955km³ to 6455km³, depending on the approach. Results from the ice thickness distribution models and the slope-dependent thickness estimations agree well with measured local ice thicknesses while V–A relations show stronger deviations. The study provides evidence on the significant effect of the selected method on results and underlines the
importance of a careful and critical evaluation. More ice-thickness measurements are needed to improve models and results in the future.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:23 Jan 2014 08:00
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:23
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN:1994-0440
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/tcd-7-4813-2013

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