Calibration of a frontal ablation parameterization applied to Greenland's peripheral calving glaciers

Recinos Rivas, Beatriz ORCID:; Maussion, Fabien; Noël, Brice; Möller, Marco; Marzeion, Ben. 2021 Calibration of a frontal ablation parameterization applied to Greenland's peripheral calving glaciers. In: EGU General Assembly 2021, Online, 19-30 April 2021.

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Greenland's Peripheral Glaciers (PGs) are glaciers that are weakly or not connected to the Ice Sheet. Many are tidewater, losing mass via frontal ablation. Without comprehensive regional observations or enough individual estimates of frontal ablation, constraining model parameters remains a challenging task in this region. We present three independent ways to calibrate the calving parameterization implemented in the Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM) and asses the impact of accounting for frontal ablation on the estimate of ice stored in PGs. We estimate an average regional frontal ablation flux for PGs of 7.94±4.15 Gtyr-1 after calibrating the model with two different satellite velocity products, and of 0.75±0.55 Gt yr-1 if the model is constrained using frontal ablation fluxes derived from independent modelled Surface Mass Balance (SMB) averaged over an equilibrium reference period (1961-1990). This second method is based on the assumption that most PGs during that time have an equilibrium between mass gain via SMB and mass loss via frontal ablation. This assumption can serve as a basis to assess the order of magnitude of dynamic mass loss of glaciers when compared to the SMB imbalance. By comparing the model output after applying both calibration methods, we find that the model is not able to predict individual tidewater glacier dynamics if it relies only on SMB estimates and the assumption of a closed budget to constrain the model. The differences between the results from both calibration methods serve as an indication of how strong the dynamic imbalance might have been for PGs during that reference period.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Paper)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Date made live: 19 May 2021 10:25 +0 (UTC)

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