Micro meteorological investigations over a mid-latitude temperate glacier - the Ivory Glacier

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Theses / Dissertations
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Master of Arts
University of Canterbury
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Harding, Fergus Bruce

During the summer of 1971-72 an investigation was undertaken into the components of the energy balance over a mid-latitude temperate glacier, (The Ivory Glacier), and the mass loss associated with the input of energy.

The major component of the energy balance was found to be the net radiation, however there were significant inputs of both sensible and latent heat. The proportions of each source of energy as a function of the total energy balance was found to fluctuate with either radiation or sensible heat as the dominent source.

From measurements obtained of the mass loss at the surface, it was found that the heat sink associated with this loss, was, on all but two occasions, of less magnitude than the computed heat input from the energy balance components. This difference in the two values has been attributed to an unmeasured evaporative loss which was not accounted for by the conversion of the mass loss to energy units. On the two days of greater heat loss than gain, it is suggested that the difference was attributable to mechanical erosion of the granular ice by rainfall.

Rainfall was not found to be significant in the energy balance, except during intense rainfalls when it was found that this parameter could contribute up to 87 ly oay⁻¹ to the total energy input to the surface.

An attempted correlation between the mass loss and the standard meteorological parameters was unsuccessful, however more success may have been achieved had the parameters been weighted.

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