A surge of the glaciers Skobreen-Paulabreen, Svalbard, observed by time-lapse photographs and remote sensing data
We present observations of a surge of the glaciers SkobreenPaulabreen, Svalbard, during 2003-05, including a time-lapse movie of the frontal advance during 2005, Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission (ASTER) imagery and oblique aerial photographs. The surge initiated in Skobreen, and then propagated downglacier into the lower parts of Paulabreen. ASTER satellite images from different stages of the surge are used to evaluate the surge progression. Features on the glacier surface advanced 2800 m over 2.4 yr, averaging 3.2 m/day, while the front advanced less (ca. 1300 m) due to contemporaneous calving. The surge resulted in a lateral displacement of the medial moraines of Paulabreen of ca. 600 m at the glacier front. The time-lapse movie captured the advance of the frontal part of the glacier, and dramatically illustrates glacier dynamic processes in an accessible way. The movie documents a range of processes such as a plug-like flow of the glacier, proglacial thrusting, incorporation of old, dead ice at the margin, and calving into the fjord. The movie provides a useful resource for researchers, educators seeking to teach and inspire students, and those wishing to communicate the fascination of glacier science to a wider public.
Keywords: Glacier surge; time-lapse movie; Skobreen; Paulabreen; Svalbard
(Published: 12 November 2012)
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Citation: Polar Research 2012, 31, 11106, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/polar.v31i0.11106
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Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to the Norwegian Polar Institute.