November 25, 2012

Lodalsbreen Retreat, Norway

Posted by Mauri Pelto

Lodalsbreen is an outlet glacier from the northeast region of the Jostedalsbreen Icecap of Norway. This particular outlet is difficult to reach and not often investigated, for this icecap in general all 10 glaciers observed from 2000-2010 have retreated (Norwegian Water Resources, 2010). Recent work by Nussbaumer et al (2011) and Imhof et al (2011) have focussed on the changes in terminus postion of Jostedalsbreen glaciers since the Little Ice Age including Lodalsbreen. The glacier reached a maximum around 1750 and has retreated 4.5 km up to 2006 as noted in the second image below modified only slightly from Nussbaumer et al (2011). The third image indicates Lodalsbreen and the western tributary and the large accumulation zone of Jostedsalsbreen that feeds the many outlet glaciers, image source is the WGMS-UN publication Global Glacier Change:s Facts and Figures. The glacier was 6 km long in 2005. A comparison of 1989, 2000, 2002, 2010 and 2012 Landsat imagery indicates the retreat of the main tongue, purple arrow for 1989 and yellow arrow 2010 and western tributary that was previously joined to the glacier, red arrow at 1989 terminus. From 1989 to 2010 Lodalsbreen has retreated 240 meters. The western tributary terminated in the valley bottom at 750 meters above sea level in 1989, and by 2010 has retreated 500 meters up the valley wall to 1000 meters above sea level. Most of the retreat of the tributary has been since 2000. The retreat of this glacier is similar to that of other Norwegian glaciers in the area, Tunsbergdalsbreen and Midtdalsbreen . The Jostedalsbreen has a large accumulation area above 1500 meters that feeds the many outlet glaciers, which are no in danger of disappearing with current climate.