A surge of the glaciers Skobreen-Paulabreen, Svalbard, observed by time-lapse photographs and remote sensing data

  • Lene Kristensen
  • Douglas I. Benn UNIS
Keywords: Glacier surge, Time lapse movie, Skobreen, Paulabreen, Svalbard

Abstract

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)

To access the supplementary material to this article please see Supplementary Files in the column to the right (under Article Tools).

Citation: Polar Research 2012, 31, 11106, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/polar.v31i0.11106

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Published
2012-11-12
How to Cite
Kristensen, L., & Benn, D. (2012). A surge of the glaciers Skobreen-Paulabreen, Svalbard, observed by time-lapse photographs and remote sensing data. Polar Research, 31. https://doi.org/10.3402/polar.v31i0.11106
Section
Research/review articles