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  • Le meur E., M. Gerbaux and M. Schaefer, Strong retreat of an alpine glacier over the 21st Century from modelling its surface mass balance. GRL. Submitted.

In order to run, an ice flow model needs to be forced by the surface
mass balance of the glacier which traditionally comes from field
measurements. Over the Saint Sorlin glacier in the french Alps, this
mass balance has also been modelled with the help of meteorological
reconstructions (SAFRAN model) by feeding a pronostic snow cover model
(CROCUS). Results of a 2D semi-implicit ice flow model driven by both
measured and modelled mass balance series are here compared over the
1981-2004 period. Although it hardly changes the global
glacier behaviour, modelled mass balance
can however exhibit different values especially over poorly-measured
areas, and these differences may locally give a more realistic pattern
of the glacier dynamics.
Moreover, this modelled approach is the only means of predicting the
future mass balance of the glacier from which the
glacier changes over the forthcoming decades can be computed.


Last Updated: 2006-03-30

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