September 10, 2023
Lilliehöökbreen terminus in 2000 was a continuous 11 km front fed by the tributary glaciers Supan (S), Hellman (H), Bjorlykke (B), Kutte (K), Darboux (D), Becqueret (Be), Cailletet (C), Bruckner (Br) and Forbes (F). By 2023 the continuous front was 8 km long having separated from Supan, Forbes, and Bruckner. Landsat images from 2000 and 2023 indicate a 2.5 km retreat resulting in a ~17 km² fjord expansion.
Lilliehöökbreen is a tidewater glacier at the head of Lilliehöökfjorden in Albertland-NW Svalbard. The glacier had retreated at ~50 m/a year during the 1990-2008 period (Nuth et al, 2013). This glacier has a large region below 400 m, Noel et al (2020) observed that a 100 m rise in the ELA from 350 m to ~440 m led to extensive mass losses on Svalbard glacier increasing retreat rates.
The Lilliehöökbreen terminus in 2000 was a comglomeration of input from tributary glaciers Supan, Hellman, Bjorlykke, Kutte, Darboux, Becqueret, Cailletet, Bruckner and Forbes. Lilliehöökbreen’s calving front was a single unit that was 12 km long and typically around 50 m high. By 2013 Forbesbreen and Suppanbreen were no longer part of the continuous front with ridge #2, #3 and #10 reaching the ice front. By 2020 ridge #4 was just reaching the ice front after a period of rapid retreat of the main terminus, ~1 km in seven years. In 2023 Brucknerbreen is completely separated by ridge #4 and the continual calving front is now 8 km long. The glacier has retreated 2500 m in 23 years, more than 100 m/year. This has expanded Lilliehöökfjorden by 17 km². Ridge #9 is nearing the ice front as well. Bjorlykke has experienced the least retreat of the tributaries feeding the Lilliehöökbreen terminus and Cailletet the most.
Toposvalbard map of the region indicating continuous 12 km calving front of Lilliehookbreen in 2005.
Lilliehöökbreen terminus in 2013 was a continuous 12km front fed by the tributary glaciers Hellman, Bjorlykke, Kutte, Darboux, Becqueret, Cailletet, and Bruckner. By 2020 the continuous front was 9.5 km long having separated from Supan, and Forbes. Landsat images from 2000 and 2020.