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23 September 2019

Orsabreen, Svalbard Retreat leads to Lake Tripling in Size

Response of Orasbreen (O), Glopeken (G) and Holmstrombreen (H) to climate change as indicated by 1995 and 2019 Landsat images.  Red arrow is 1995 terminus, yellow arrow 2019 terminus, pink arrows a deepening supraglacial stream channel and purple dots the snowline. Orsabreen terminates in an expansing prolgacial lake, Trebrevatnet, that is shared with a glacier it has separated from Holmstrombreen. The glacier shares an accumulation zone with Kronebreen, a glacier …


9 March 2018

Aavatsmarkbreen, Svalbard More Calving & Less Accumulation a Deadly Recipe

Aavatsmarkbreen, Svalbard in 1987 and 2017 Landsat images. Red arrow 1987 terminus, yellow arrow 2017 terminus  and purple dots the snowline.  Aavatsmarkbreen is a tidewater glacier on the west side of Svalbard.  The glacier is the fjord just south of Kongsfjord and Kronebreen Glacier.   Nuth et al (2013) determined that the glacier area over the entire archipelago has decreased by an average of 80 km2 per year over the past 30 years, a …


9 November 2017

Storbreen, Svalbard Major Retreat Opens New Fjord

Storbreen, Svalbard in 1990 and 2017 Landsat images.  The red arrows indicate 1990 terminus , yellow arrow the 2017 terminus and purple dots the snowline in 1990.  A recent snow storm has obscured the actual snowline in Aug 2017.  Storbreen Glacier (ST) terminates on the north side of Hornsund in southern Svalbard.  From 1990 to 2017 Storbreen has experienced a substantial retreat opening a new fjord and separating from Hornbreen …


29 June 2017

Monacobreen Separates from Seligerbreen, Svalbard

Monacobreen Separation from Seligerbreen in 1999 and 2016 Landsat images.  The red arrow is the 1999 terminus location and yellow arrow the 2016 terminus location.  Moancobreen  is a glacier that terminates at the head of Liefdefjorden , a branch of Woodfjorden in Spitsbergen, Svalbard. NW Spitsbergen is a region that has experienced extensive long term glacier thinning from 1965 to 2007 (Nuth et al, 2010). Svalbard is host to 163 tidewater glaciers with …


22 May 2017

Besselsbreen Retreat Glacier Wide Thinning , Svalbard

Besselsbreen (B) and Augnebreen (A) comparison in a 1990 and 2016 Landsat image. Red arrows indicate terminus position in 1990, yellow arrow indicates terminus in 2016, purple arrows indicate locations of upglacier thinning from 1990 to 2016 and the yellow line indicates the width of the tongue on the eastern side of Besselsbreen to the medial moraine with Augnebreen Besselsbreen Glacier flows north to  tidewater from the Barents Icecap on Barentsoya …


18 May 2017

Hinlopenbreen, Svalbard 7 km Retreat 1990-2016.

Hinlopenbreen, Svalbard in 1990 and 2016 Landsat imagery.  red arrow is 1990 terminus, yellow arrow is 2016 terminus,and Oslobreen is noted by Point O Hinlopenbreen is a large tidewater glacier in northern Svalbard.  The glacier has a periodic history of surging, with the last surge occurring in 1970 (Nuth et al 2010). The glacier has the largest negative balance of -0.58 m/year from 1965-2005 (Nuth et al 2010).   The …


20 December 2016

Has Fridtjovbreen, Svalbard Surged for the last time?

Fidtjovbreen, Svalbard comparison in 1998 and 2016 Landsat imagery.  Red arrow marks the 1998 terminus, yellow arrow the 2016 terminus and purple dots mark the snowline.  The Yellow numbers indicate area of separation between glaciers. Pink arrows indicate areas on the upper glacier where thinning is exposing more bedrock. F=Fridtjovbreen, S=Sagabreen, G=Gronfjordbreen Fridtjovbreen, Svalbard, is a tidewater-terminating glacier that started a 7-year surge advance during the 1990’s. This central Spitsbergen …


16 May 2016

Frostisen Ice Cap Svalbard, Ongoing Defrosting 1990-2015

Frostisen Ice Cap in 1990 and 2015 Landsat images.  Red arrow is the 1990 terminus location, yellow arrow the 2015 terminus location.  Purple arrows indicate thinning on the upper margin of the ice cap, and the letter A indicates an outcrop of rock emerging through the ice. Frostisen is an ice cap in Dickson Land of Central Svalbard.  The World Glacier inventory of 1960 listed the area of the ice cap …


23 November 2015

Paierbreen Rapid Calving Retreat, Svalbard

1990 and 2014 Landsat images indicating Paierbreen (P), Muhlbacherbreen (MU) and Hansbreen (H). The red arrow and red dots indicate the 1990 terminus location and yellow arrows and yellow dots the 2014 terminus location. The purple arrow indicates the location of a supraglacial lake that was persistent in the 1990’s but is no longer evident in 2013, 2014 and 2015. From 1990 to 2014 all four of the glaciers terminating …


19 October 2015

Kronebreen and Kongsvegen, Svalbard Initiation of Glacier Separation 2015

Kronebreen terminus in 2013 (left) and 2015 (right), note the configuration change and separation initiation of Kronebreen and Kongsvegen at yellow arrow. Kronebreen is a large, (450 km2) tidewater glacier on the northwest coast of Svalbard terminating in a shared terminus with Kongsvegen at the head of Kongsfjorden.  Changes in 2015 indicate the shared terminus will not continue.  Luckman et al (2015) observed Kronebreen has a winter speed of 1.5–2 m/day, …


15 July 2015

Samarinbreen, Svalbard Rapid Retreat 1990-2014

Samarinbreen (SA) 1990 left, and 2014 right, Landsat image comparison.  KO=Korberbreen, CH=Chomjakovbreen, ME=Mendeleevbreen Red arrows indicate 1990 terminus position, yellow arrows 2014 terminus. and purple dots the snowline. Samarinbreen terminated in a calving front in Samarinvagan, a bay on the southern side of Hornsund Fjord. Hornsund is a fjord that in 2015 almost cuts through the southern Island of Svalbard, due to the retreat of Hamberbergbreen and Hornbreen. The Institute of …


4 September 2014

Vasilievbreen Glacier Retreat, Svalbard

Vasilievbreen is a glacier that terminates on the east coast of the southern island of Svalbard a short distance southeast of Hornsund. In 1990 this glacier had a single continuous terminus margin along the coast. The glacier retreated 50 m/year from 1936 to 1990, as the embayment of Isbukta expanded. The glacier has since separated into distinct termini, on each image colored arrows indicate the same specific location, red arrow …


23 January 2013

Svitjodbreen Retreat, Northwest Svalbard

Svitjodbreen is a 10 km long tidewater outlet glacier in northwest Svalbard, Albert Land. The glacier drains north into Fugelfjorden, the highest elevation of the main glacier is 600 meters with a few neighboring peaks reaching 800 m, not very high. NW Svalbard is a region that has experienced extensive long term thinning from 1965 to 2007 (Nuth et al, 2010), with an average glacier wide thinning of 0.5 m/year …


4 July 2012

Olsokbreen Retreat, Svalbard

Svalbard is host to 163 tidewater glaciers with a collective calving front of 860 km (BŁASZCZYK et al, 2009). The southernmost of these glaciers on the west coast of Sørkappland is Olsokbreen, purple arrow. Olsokbreen has a 5 km calving front and its retreat was observed to have retreated 3.5 km from 1900-2008 (Zjaja et al, 2008). Here we examine Landsat imagery from 1990 and 2014 and Geoeye from 2012 …


30 April 2012

Albrectbreen, Svalbard retreat and thinning

Albrechtbreen is a glacier draining the northeast side of the Edgoya Ice Cap. James et al (2012) report that the glacier retreated at a rate of 33 m/year from 1971-2000 and 64 m/year after 2000. The glacier terminates on an outwash plain at 50 meters, and begins from the ice cap at 300 meters. From 1971-2005 the ice cap has had a mass balance loss of -0.6 m/year (Nuth et …


3 December 2011

Hornbreen-Hambergbreen Retreat Svalbard

Landsat comparison from 1990 and 2014.  The 1990 terminus is at the red arrows and red dots, the 2014 terminus is the yellow dots.  Hornsund is a fjord that in 2014 almost cuts through the southern Island of Svalbard. The Institute of Geophysics Polish Academy have maintained a Polish Research Station in Hornsund since 1957. The 1984 map, from the University of Silesia, of the glaciers and geomorphology document the …


15 July 2011

Retreat of Hansbreen, Svalbard

Hansbreen is tidewater glacier flowing into Hornsund in sw Svalbard. The glacier has been examined in detail over the last twenty years from the Polish Research Station. The glacier has retreated 2.7 kilometers from 1900 to 2008. The chart below from Oerlemans, Jania and Kolandara (2011) illustrates this retreat as does the comparative images from the Polish Research Station. The glacier mass balance has been measured since 1989 and is …


12 July 2011

Retreat of Nannbreen, Svalbard

Nannbreen is a 5 km long land terminating glacier in southwest Svalbard. The glacier is just north of Hornsund. During the course of the 20th century Nannbreen retreated from its Little Ice Age moraine complex forming a new proglacial lake. The glacier ends at an elevation of 150 meters descending from 600 meters, the snowline in several Landsat images from the last decade has been 400-450 meters. By 2000 (first …