We present spatially distributed seasonal and annual surface mass balances of Wolverine Glacier, Alaska, from 2016 to 2020. Our approach accounts for the effects of ice emergence and firn compaction on surface elevation changes to resolve the spatial patterns in mass balance at 10 m scale. We present and compare three methods for estimating emergence velocities. Firn compaction was constrained by optimizing a firn model to fit three firn cores. Distributed mass balances showed good agreement with mass-balance stakes (RMSE = 0.67 m w.e., r = 0.99, n = 41) and ground-penetrating radar surveys (RMSE = 0.36 m w.e., r = 0.85, n = 9024). Fundamental differences in the distributions of seasonal balances highlight the importance of disparate physical processes, with anomalously high ablation rates observed in icefalls. Winter balances were found to be positively skewed when controlling for elevation, while summer and annual balances were negatively skewed. We show that only a small percent of the glacier surface represents ideal locations for mass-balance stake placement. Importantly, no suitable areas are found near the terminus or in elevation bands dominated by icefalls. These findings offer explanations for the often-needed geodetic calibrations of glaciological time series.
|Title||Beyond glacier-wide mass balances: Parsing seasonal elevation change into spatially resolved patterns of accumulation and ablation at Wolverine Glacier, Alaska|
|Authors||Lucas Zeller, Daniel J McGrath, Louis C. Sass, Shad O'Neel, Christopher J. McNeil, Emily Baker|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Glaciology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Alaska Science Center Water|