The distribution of snow accumulation across the Austfonna ice cap, Svalbard: direct measurements and modelling
AbstractWe present an analysis of the spatial variability in the snow accumulation on the Austfonna ice cap in Svalbard, Norway, based on the results of field investigations conducted in the spring of 1999, 2004 and 2005. During the campaigns ground penetrating radar measurements at 500 and 800 MHz were collected along profiles, along with additional manual snow sounding and pit stratigraphy work. The analysis of the data reveals a consistent pattern in the spatial distribution of the snow accumulation over the ice-cap, and therefore enables the compilation of a multiple regression model of the snow distribution across the ice cap. Once validated, the results of the model complement the information derived from direct measurements, with an accumulation index for every point on the ice cap, thus enhancing the accuracy of future mass balance studies and dynamic modelling of Austfonna. As very few direct meteorological measurements are performed in the eastern part of Svalbard, the accumulation measurements on the Austfonna ice cap provide valuable integrated information about winter precipitation in this region.
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