Ireneusz SOBOTA

The near-surface ice thermal structure of the Waldemarbreen, Svalbard


 Polish Polar Research 30 (4), 2009: 317-338

ABSTRACT: The near-surface ice thermal structure of the Waldemarbreen, a 2.5-square km glacier located at 78N 12E in Spitsbergen, Svalbard , is described here. Traditional glaciological mass balance measurements by stake readings and snow surveying have been conducted annually since 1996. The near-surface ice temperature was investigated with automatic borehole thermistors in the ablation and accumulation areas in 2007-2008. The mean annual surface ice temperatures (September-June) of the ablation area were determined to be -4.7C at 1 m depth and -2.5C at 9 m . For the accumulation area, they were -3.0C at 2 m , and -2.3C at 10 m depth between September and August. On the Waldemarbreen, at 10 m depth, the mean annual near-surface ice temperature was 4.0C above the mean annual air temperature in the accumulation area. The Waldemarbreen may thus be classified as a polythermal type with cold ice which is below the pressure melting point and a temperate ice layer in the bottom sections of the glacier and with a temperate surface layer only during summer seasons. At a depth of 10 m , temperatures are of the order of -2C to -3C .

Key words: Arctic, Spitsbergen , ice temperature, thermal regime, glacier.

Address: Zakad Kriologii i Bada Polarnych, Instytut Geografii UMK, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toru, Poland  irso@geo.uni.torun.pl