Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1088
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-1088
 
30 Nov 2022
30 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Modeling of surface energy balance for Icelandic glaciers using remote sensing albedo

Andri Gunnarsson1,3, Sigurdur M. Gardarsson1, and Finnur Pálsson2 Andri Gunnarsson et al.
  • 1University of Iceland, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hjardarhagi 2-6, IS-107 Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 2Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 3Landsvirkjun, Department of Research and Development, Reykjavík, IS-107, Iceland

Abstract. During the melt season, absorbed solar energy, modulated at the surface by albedo, is one of the main governing factors controlling surface-melt variability for glaciers in Iceland. An energy balance model was developed with the possibility to utilize spatio-temporal MODIS satellite-derived daily surface albedo driven by high-resolution climate forcing data to reconstruct the surface energy balance (SEB) for all Icelandic glaciers for the period 2000–2021. The SEB was reconstructed from April through September for 2000–2021 at a daily timestep with a 500 m spatial resolution. Validation was performed using observations from various glaciers spanning distinct locations and elevations with good visual and statistical agreement. The results show that spatio-temporal patterns for the melt season have high annual and inter-annual variability for Icelandic glaciers. The variability was influenced by high climate variability, deposition of light-absorbing particles (LAPs) from volcanic eruptions and dust hotspots in pro-glacial areas close to the glaciers. Impacts of LAPs can lead to significant melt enhancement due to lowering of albedo and increased short-wave radiative energy forced at the surface. Large impacts on the SEB were observed for years with high LAPs deposits, such as volcanic eruption years in 2004, 2010 and 2011 and the sand and dust-rich year of 2019. The impacts of volcanic eruptions and other LAP events were estimated using historical mean albedo under the same climatology forcing to provide estimations of melt energy enhancements. The impact of LAPs was often significant even though the glaciers were far away from the eruption location.

Andri Gunnarsson et al.

Status: open (extended)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1088', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Dec 2022 reply

Andri Gunnarsson et al.

Andri Gunnarsson et al.

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Short summary
An model was developed with the possibility to utilize satellite-derived daily surface albedo driven by high-resolution climate data estimate the surface energy balance (SEB) for all Icelandic glaciers for the period 2000–2021.