Thermodynamics of the Subsurface of Glaciers with Insights from Lomonosovfonna Ice Field at Svalbard

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Luft-, vatten- och landskapslära; Uppsala universitet/Luft-, vatten- och landskapslära

Abstract: Glaciers are important components of the Earth's environment and are mainly found in polar and high elevation areas. They are crucial for understanding the past, ongoing and upcoming environmental changes, relevant for fresh water supply, logistical and recreational purposes. Subsurface temperature of glaciers is an important parameter heavily influencing the fluxes of mass and energy. The project focuses on how the temperature changes inside glaciers and which factors contribute to the change. Thermal conduction is one of the key processes controlling the thermodynamics of glaciers. This defines how well heat is transferred inside glaciers and how well the temperature propagates. The process of heat conduction at Lomonosovfonna ice field, Svalbard, is described using numerical simulations constrained by measured initial and boundary conditions. Simulated subsurface temperature is in line with measurements before the onset of melt in summer. After that deviations increase as the used model does not consider the process of melt water refreezing. This makes the simulation only partially successful.

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