Effect of geotextile cover on snow and ice melt on Triangular Glacier, the north-eastern Antarctic Peninsula

Vol.12,No.2(2022)

Abstract

A prominent increase in air temperature during the last decade has prompted summer melting and surface lowering of glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula region. Accelerated mass loss from small land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island has attracted research attention to local conditions of snow and ice melt that remain poorly known. This study focuses on the potential effects of non-woven geotextile on snow and ice melt on the surface of Triangular Glacier. The measurements of surface elevation changes reveal a total melt-season ablation of 1.3 to 1.6 m during the summer 2021/22. Over half of the melt season the surface lowering ranged from 0.5 m at the shaded glacier head to 0.8 m on the glacier surface unconstrained by topography, implying the importance of local topography on surface melting. The protection of glacier surface with non-woven geotextile covers reduced the snow and ice ablation by 40 to 69%. The lower effect of this protection is attributed to less intense surface melt at the shaded site. The efficiency of the geotextile cover is consistent with the reported values from mid-latitude sites but it is higher compared to the recently reported estimates from a high-elevation region in Asia.


Keywords:
snow; glacier; surface melt; geotextile; Antarctic Peninsula
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