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 Energy Balance of Ice Caps

An energy balance model is being developed for use on the Langjökull icecap. The model calculates the various components of the energy balance from meteorological data collected at a site on the icecap. The dataset is extrapolated to a grid covering the icecap, assuming the meteorological conditions are homogenous except for changes due to elevation.
Initial use of the model with a limited data set has shown that the relative sizes of the various fluxes are reproduced well. However, the total melt rates predicted are beneath the levels expected from the scant field measurements.

The aim is then to use data collected in the field this year, along with records being obtained from the Icelandic Meteorological Office, to provide a dataset covering the ablation seasons from recent years. Satellite images will be used to help constrain variables used in the model and to help assess the accuracy of the predicted energy balance. Finally, the energy balance model will be incorporated into a numerical model of the Langjökull Icecap. This work is in collaboration with the geography department.

Digital terrain model of Langjokull icecap (exaggerated vertical scale)

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Richard Gooday, Tony Payne

Slide Shows

Energy Balance Model Optimisation for Vestari-Hagafellsjöjull, Langjökull, Iceland

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