Analysis of Alpine glacier length change records with a macroscopic glacier model
Other literature type
Lüthi, M. P.
(issn: 2194-8798, eissn: 2194-8798)
The length change record of 91 glaciers in the Swiss
Alps was analyzed with a novel macroscopic glacier
model (LV-model). Based on a history of equilibrium
line variations, synthetic length change data were calculated.
From the LV-models matching best the measured
length changes, characteristic parameters were
obtained. The volume time scale thus determined
ranges from 5 to 170 years for glaciers of different
slope and length. The analysis shows that the observed
glacier length changes cannot be reproduced with an
equilibrium line variation based on temperature and
precipitation alone. The equilibrium line has to be lowered
by 100 to 200 meters during several phases of the
Little Ice Age (in the time span 1650 to 1850) to obtain
observed glacier responses. Such an effect might be
attributable to either higher winter precipitation in the
Alps, or to radiation forcing.