Strong contrast in mass and energy balance between a coastal mountain glacier and the Greenland ice sheet

JAKOB ABERMANN, DIRK VAN AS, STEFAN WACKER, KIRSTY LANGLEY, HORST MACHGUTH, ROBERT SCHJØTT FAUSTO
2019 Journal of Glaciology  
ABSTRACTWe show a strong difference in surface mass and energy balance of a mountain glacier and two sites on the ice sheet at 64°N in West Greenland using stake and automated weather station observations. Net surface mass balance is on average 2.2 m w.e. less negative at the coast compared with the ice sheet in the same elevation. We find a larger energy turnover at the ice sheet margin on Qamanarssup Sermia than measured on the coastal mountain glacier Qassigiannguit with both energy input
more » ... oth energy input and output being of larger absolute value. More cloudiness and a thicker snow cover at the relatively humid coastal glacier result in smaller gains in net-shortwave radiation and smaller losses in net-longwave radiation and a less negative mass balance. Lower wind speeds at the coastal glacier result in weaker turbulent heat exchange between atmosphere and ice surface. On annual average, 17 W m−2 more energy is available for melt at the ice-sheet margin compared with the coastal glacier in the same elevation.
doi:10.1017/jog.2019.4 fatcat:p6kiyyyvxvdlbmrif2o4idq5fy