Geometry changes of Svalbard glaciers during the last 10 years

Over the past century, sea level has slowly risen. This is in part due to the addition of water to the oceans through either the melting of or the calving of icebergs from the world's land ice. Many individual mountain glaciers and ice caps are known to have been retreating, contributing to the rising sea levels. It is uncertain, however, whether the higher parts of Svalbard glacier have been growing or diminishing. Measurements of ice elevations are now being made by kinematic GPS on Kongsvegen in 1992 and 1997, on Lomonosovfonna in 1991 and 1999, and on Amundsenisen 1991. A comparison has been conducted between these data sets (GPS data), and could be used to investigate the changes in surface elevation with time.

The purpose of this year field activity will be to obtain re-survey on Amundsenisen:

  1. Topographical data sets, including ice surface elevation profiles will be collected by use of Kinematic GPS (Global Positioning System) survey.
  2. Snow accumulation data sets. This will be accomplished by measuring the snow accumulation by snow sounding and ground penetrating radar.
  3. Current net accumulation variations. Stake measurements will be used to determine the accumulation and ablation rate at selected points on the ice cap.