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Université de Fribourg

Variations in Alaska tidewater glacier frontal ablation, 1985–2013

McNabb, R. W. ; Hock, Regine ; Huss, Matthias

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 2015, vol. 120, no. 1, p. 2014JF003276

Our incomplete knowledge of the proportion of mass loss due to frontal ablation (the sum of ice loss through calving and submarine melt) from tidewater glaciers outside of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets has been cited as a major hindrance to accurate predictions of global sea level rise. We present a 28 year record (1985–2013) of frontal ablation for 27 Alaska tidewater glaciers...

Université de Fribourg

Runaway thinning of the low-elevation Yakutat Glacier, Alaska, and its sensitivity to climate change

Trüssel, Barbara L. ; Truffer, Martin ; Hock, Regine ; Motyka, Roman J. ; Huss, Matthias ; Zhang, Jing

In: Journal of Glaciology, 2015, vol. 61, no. 225, p. 65 - 75

Lake-calving Yakutat Glacier in southeast Alaska, USA, is undergoing rapid thinning and terminus retreat. We use a simplified glacier model to evaluate its future mass loss. In a first step we compute glacier-wide mass change with a surface mass-balance model, and add a mass loss component due to ice flux through the calving front. We then use an empirical elevation change curve to adjust for...

Université de Fribourg

An upper-bound estimate for the accuracy of glacier volume–area scaling

Farinotti, Daniel ; Huss, Matthias

In: The Cryosphere, 2013, vol. 7, no. 6, p. 1707–1720

Volume–area scaling is the most popular method for estimating the ice volume of large glacier samples. Here, a series of resampling experiments based on different sets of synthetic data is presented in order to derive an upper-bound estimate (i.e. a level achieved only within ideal conditions) for its accuracy. For real-world applications, a lower accuracy has to be expected. We also quantify...

Université de Fribourg

Methodological approaches to infer end-of-winter snow distribution on alpine glaciers

Sold, Leo ; Huss, Matthias ; Hoelzle, Martin ; Andereggen, Hubert ; Joerg, Philip C. ; Zemp, Michael

In: Journal of Glaciology, 2013, vol. 59, no. 218, p. 1047–1059

Snow accumulation is an important component of the mass balance of alpine glaciers. To improve our understanding of the processes related to accumulation and their representation in state-of-the-art mass-balance models, extensive field measurements are required. We present measurements of snow accumulation distribution on Findelengletscher, Switzerland, for April 2010 using (1) in situ snow...

Université de Fribourg

High uncertainty in 21st century runoff projections from glacierized basins

Huss, Matthias ; Zemp, Michael ; Joerg, Philip C. ; Salzmann, Nadine

In: Journal of Hydrology, 2014, vol. 510, p. 35–48

Glacier response to a changing climate and its impact on runoff is understood in general terms, but model-based projections are affected by considerable uncertainties. They originate from the driving climate model, input data quality, and simplifications in the glacio-hydrological model and hamper the reliability of the simulations. Here, an integrative assessment of the uncertainty in 21st...

Université de Fribourg

Reanalysing glacier mass balance measurement series

Zemp, M. ; Thibert, E. ; Huss, Matthias ; Stumm, D. ; Denby, C. Rolstad ; Nuth, C. ; Nussbaumer, S. U. ; Moholdt, G. ; Mercer, A. ; Mayer, C. ; Joerg, P. C. ; Jansson, P. ; Hynek, B. ; Fischer, A. ; Escher-Vetter, H. ; Elvehøy, H. ; Andreassen, L. M.

In: The Cryosphere, 2013, vol. 7, no. 4, p. 1227–1245

Glacier-wide mass balance has been measured for more than sixty years and is widely used as an indicator of climate change and to assess the glacier contribution to runoff and sea level rise. Until recently, comprehensive uncertainty assessments have rarely been carried out and mass balance data have often been applied using rough error estimation or without consideration of errors. In this...

Université de Fribourg

Runoff evolution in the Swiss Alps: projections for selected high-alpine catchments based on ENSEMBLES scenario

Farinotti, Daniel ; Usselmann, Stephanie ; Huss, Matthias ; Bauder, Andreas ; Funk, Martin

In: Hydrological Processes, 2011, vol. 25, p. -

The Alps are often referred to as the ‘water tower of Europe’. In Switzerland, many branches of the economy, especially the hydropower industry, are closely linked to and dependent on the availability of water. Assessing the impact of climate change on streamflow runoff is, thus, of great interest. Major efforts have already been made in this respect, but the analyses often focus on...

Université de Fribourg

Present and future contribution of glacier storage change to runoff from macroscale drainage basins in Europe

Huss, Matthias

In: Water Resources Research, 2011, vol. 47, p. W07511

The contribution of glaciers to runoff from large-scale drainage basins in Europe is analyzed for the major streams originating in the Alps: Rhine, Rhone, Po, and Danube. Detailed information on glacier storage change is available from monthly mass balance data of 50 Swiss glaciers for the period 1908–2008. Storage changes are extrapolated to all glaciers in the European Alps. By comparing...

Université de Fribourg

Modelling and numerical simulation of the dynamics of glaciers including local damage effects

Jouvet, G. ; Picasso, M. ; Rappaz, J. ; Huss, Matthias ; Funk, Martin

In: Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, 2011, vol. 6, no. 05, p. 263-280

A numerical model to compute the dynamics of glaciers is presented. Ice damage due to cracks or crevasses can be taken into account whenever needed. This model allows simulations of the past and future retreat of glaciers, the calving process or the break-off of hanging glaciers. All these phenomena are strongly affected by climate change.Ice is assumed to behave as an incompressible fluid with...

Université de Fribourg

Integrating point glacier mass balance observations into hydrologic model identification

Schaefli, Bettina ; Huss, Matthias

In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2011, vol. 15, p. 1227-1241

The hydrology of high mountainous catchments is often predicted with conceptual precipitation-discharge models that simulate the snow accumulation and ablation behavior of a very complex environment using as only input temperature and precipitation. It is hereby often assumed that some glacier-wide annual balance estimates, in addition to observed discharge, are sufficient to reliably calibrate...