Glacier retreat and projected river regime changes in the hydrologically highly-coupled Virkisjökull catchment, Iceland

Verity Flett, Martin Kirkbride, Andrew Black, Jez Everest, Alan MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

24 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Virkisjökull, an outlet glacier of the Oræfajökull icecap in SE Iceland, currently has 60% glacier cover, though this is reducing due to glacier retreat. Intensive monitoring over the last 4 years includes measurement of measuring ice ablation, proglacial discharge, dye-tracing of flow pathways, and deployment of three automatic weather stations at altitudes up to 880 m. These data calibrate a distributed hydrological model (WaSIM) to project potential river regime during stages of glacier retreat. Results show: (1) glacier hypsometry sensitises the catchment to a disproportionately rapid increase in runoff as the snowline rises onto a gentle ice cap resulting in in a potential annual increase in river discharge of up to 37% (2) a dominantly channelized glacial drainage system in all seasons with a rapid runoff response to melt: englacial flow of 0.58 m s-1 is comparable to the proglacial river velocity; and (3) longer-term, reduced glacier cover and snow storage will lead to a discharge regime dominated by short-term precipitation events in all seasons, and a reduced influence of the seasonal meltwater discharge peak. The study demonstrates the importance of glacier hypsometry above the present ELA as an influence on catchment hydrological response to potential climate warming.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
EventEGU General Assembly 2016 - Austria Center Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 17 Apr 201622 Apr 2016
http://www.egu2016.eu/
http://www.egu2016.eu/

Conference

ConferenceEGU General Assembly 2016
Abbreviated titleEGU General Assembly 2016
CountryAustria
CityVienna
Period17/04/1622/04/16
Internet address

Fingerprint

glacier retreat
glacier
catchment
hypsometry
river
runoff
snowline
hydrological response
peak discharge
ice cap
weather station
river discharge
meltwater
ablation
dye
warming
snow
melt
ice
climate

Cite this

Flett, V., Kirkbride, M., Black, A., Everest, J., & MacDonald, A. (2016). Glacier retreat and projected river regime changes in the hydrologically highly-coupled Virkisjökull catchment, Iceland. Abstract from EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria.
Flett, Verity ; Kirkbride, Martin ; Black, Andrew ; Everest, Jez ; MacDonald, Alan. / Glacier retreat and projected river regime changes in the hydrologically highly-coupled Virkisjökull catchment, Iceland. Abstract from EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria.1 p.
@conference{87b1392394de42f1be44456e8737ea4b,
title = "Glacier retreat and projected river regime changes in the hydrologically highly-coupled Virkisj{\"o}kull catchment, Iceland",
abstract = "Virkisj{\"o}kull, an outlet glacier of the Or{\ae}faj{\"o}kull icecap in SE Iceland, currently has 60{\%} glacier cover, though this is reducing due to glacier retreat. Intensive monitoring over the last 4 years includes measurement of measuring ice ablation, proglacial discharge, dye-tracing of flow pathways, and deployment of three automatic weather stations at altitudes up to 880 m. These data calibrate a distributed hydrological model (WaSIM) to project potential river regime during stages of glacier retreat. Results show: (1) glacier hypsometry sensitises the catchment to a disproportionately rapid increase in runoff as the snowline rises onto a gentle ice cap resulting in in a potential annual increase in river discharge of up to 37{\%} (2) a dominantly channelized glacial drainage system in all seasons with a rapid runoff response to melt: englacial flow of 0.58 m s-1 is comparable to the proglacial river velocity; and (3) longer-term, reduced glacier cover and snow storage will lead to a discharge regime dominated by short-term precipitation events in all seasons, and a reduced influence of the seasonal meltwater discharge peak. The study demonstrates the importance of glacier hypsometry above the present ELA as an influence on catchment hydrological response to potential climate warming.",
author = "Verity Flett and Martin Kirkbride and Andrew Black and Jez Everest and Alan MacDonald",
year = "2016",
month = "4",
language = "English",
note = "EGU General Assembly 2016, EGU General Assembly 2016 ; Conference date: 17-04-2016 Through 22-04-2016",
url = "http://www.egu2016.eu/, http://www.egu2016.eu/",

}

Flett, V, Kirkbride, M, Black, A, Everest, J & MacDonald, A 2016, 'Glacier retreat and projected river regime changes in the hydrologically highly-coupled Virkisjökull catchment, Iceland' EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, 17/04/16 - 22/04/16, .

Glacier retreat and projected river regime changes in the hydrologically highly-coupled Virkisjökull catchment, Iceland. / Flett, Verity; Kirkbride, Martin; Black, Andrew; Everest, Jez; MacDonald, Alan.

2016. Abstract from EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

TY - CONF

T1 - Glacier retreat and projected river regime changes in the hydrologically highly-coupled Virkisjökull catchment, Iceland

AU - Flett, Verity

AU - Kirkbride, Martin

AU - Black, Andrew

AU - Everest, Jez

AU - MacDonald, Alan

PY - 2016/4

Y1 - 2016/4

N2 - Virkisjökull, an outlet glacier of the Oræfajökull icecap in SE Iceland, currently has 60% glacier cover, though this is reducing due to glacier retreat. Intensive monitoring over the last 4 years includes measurement of measuring ice ablation, proglacial discharge, dye-tracing of flow pathways, and deployment of three automatic weather stations at altitudes up to 880 m. These data calibrate a distributed hydrological model (WaSIM) to project potential river regime during stages of glacier retreat. Results show: (1) glacier hypsometry sensitises the catchment to a disproportionately rapid increase in runoff as the snowline rises onto a gentle ice cap resulting in in a potential annual increase in river discharge of up to 37% (2) a dominantly channelized glacial drainage system in all seasons with a rapid runoff response to melt: englacial flow of 0.58 m s-1 is comparable to the proglacial river velocity; and (3) longer-term, reduced glacier cover and snow storage will lead to a discharge regime dominated by short-term precipitation events in all seasons, and a reduced influence of the seasonal meltwater discharge peak. The study demonstrates the importance of glacier hypsometry above the present ELA as an influence on catchment hydrological response to potential climate warming.

AB - Virkisjökull, an outlet glacier of the Oræfajökull icecap in SE Iceland, currently has 60% glacier cover, though this is reducing due to glacier retreat. Intensive monitoring over the last 4 years includes measurement of measuring ice ablation, proglacial discharge, dye-tracing of flow pathways, and deployment of three automatic weather stations at altitudes up to 880 m. These data calibrate a distributed hydrological model (WaSIM) to project potential river regime during stages of glacier retreat. Results show: (1) glacier hypsometry sensitises the catchment to a disproportionately rapid increase in runoff as the snowline rises onto a gentle ice cap resulting in in a potential annual increase in river discharge of up to 37% (2) a dominantly channelized glacial drainage system in all seasons with a rapid runoff response to melt: englacial flow of 0.58 m s-1 is comparable to the proglacial river velocity; and (3) longer-term, reduced glacier cover and snow storage will lead to a discharge regime dominated by short-term precipitation events in all seasons, and a reduced influence of the seasonal meltwater discharge peak. The study demonstrates the importance of glacier hypsometry above the present ELA as an influence on catchment hydrological response to potential climate warming.

UR - http://www.egu2016.eu/

UR - http://www.geophysical-research-abstracts.net/egu2016.html

UR - http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016EGUGA..18.4211F

M3 - Abstract

ER -

Flett V, Kirkbride M, Black A, Everest J, MacDonald A. Glacier retreat and projected river regime changes in the hydrologically highly-coupled Virkisjökull catchment, Iceland. 2016. Abstract from EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria.