June 13, 2013
Qinngua Avannarleq Retreat, Southwest Greenland
Posted by Mauri Pelto
Qinngua Avannarleq is at the head of Evighfjorden an arm of Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord in southwest Greenland. Leclercq et al (2012) notes the glacier is 15 km long and has an area of 57 square kilometers. They further note that the glacier retreated 0.5 km from 1850-1960. Here we examine Landsat imagery from 1996, 2000, 2009, 20011 and 2012. In each image the yellow arrow points to a tributary from the northeast that met the glacier at the terminus in 1996, the red arrow indicates the 2012 terminus location and Points A-D identify locations where bedrock exposure is expanding with glacier thinning. In 1996 and 2000 the terminus was 1.8 km wide and merged with a tributary from the north right at the terminus. In 1996 and 2000 Point C and D are uninterrupted glacier cover. At Point A and B there are narrow glacier tongues passing between rock exposures. By 2011 and 2012 the terminus has retreated 1.3 km from the 1996 position. At Point A the tributary that separated the rock outcrops has now disappeared leaving uninterrupted rock. At Point B the bedrock area has expanded and the narrow tributary no longer connects to the main glacier. At Point C a ridge of bedrock has extended 1 km further into the ice cap. At Point D a new bedrock knob has emerged amidst the main glacier. The retreat of over 1 km since 1996 is a greater retreat than had occurred from 1850-1990 (Leclerq et al (2012). The retreat of this glacier is similar to that of Narssap Sermia Glacier and Qaleriq Glacier. A nunatak 12 km inland also indicates thinning with a stranded section of ice, red arrows. This area also features very dirty ice, black arrows, that increases the albedo, which bring to mind the Dark Snow Project.
1996 Landsat Image