Mass Balances of Glaciers in the Southern Alps of New Zealand
To specify the mass balance of four glaciers using the direct glaciological method.
To model the mass balance as a function of climate information and a digital elevation model.
To establish the relationship between the mass balance and the end-of-summer snowline (EOSS) of a glacier.
To derive past and future mass balances from the measured mass balance information, the EOSS records and the mass balance model.
The mass balances of four glaciers in the Southern Alps of New Zealand are investigated. Different types of glaciers are examined, ranging from maritime to continental glaciers. Since 1977, a yearly end-of-summer snowline (EOSS) survey has been conducted by taking oblique photographs of 50 index glaciers from a light aircraft. In the past, these records have been used as a proxy for the mass balance.
In 2004, a field-based mass-balance programme was established on Brewster Glacier, and since 2005, mass balance measurements are made with the glaciological method on Glenmary, Rolleston and Park Pass Glacier. The glaciological mass balance measurements consist of stake and snowpit measurements. For Brewster Glacier, the mass balance is modelled with a distributed mass balance model that is based on the energy-balance. The model is forced by nearby climate information. After calibrating the model with the direct mass balance measurements, the mass balance is calculated for the past 30 years and compared to the aerial photographs from the EOSS survey.
The mass balance model has been applied previously in the European Alps and this project provides a test of the model for the Southern Alps of New Zealand. The modelled and validated mass balance data provides a good tool to evaluate the EOSS as mass balance surrogate.
Masters ThesisStumm, D. (2001) Erkennung geomorphologischer Formen mit Hilfe von GIS und Fernerkundung. Master thesis, Geography Department, University of Zurich, Switzerland. 73pp.
Anderson, B., Mackintosh, A., Stumm, D., George, L., Kerr, T., Winter-Billington, A., Fitzsimons S.J. (in preparation) Climate sensitivity of a high-precipitation glacier in New Zealand. To be submitted to Journal of Glaciology or Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research.
Hoelzle, M., Chinn T., Stumm, D., Paul, F., Zemp, M., Haeberli, W. (2007) The application of glacier inventory data for estimating past climate change effects on mountain glaciers: A comparison between the European Alps and the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Global and Planetary Change 56 (1-2), 69–82.
Presentations and Posters7 October 2008, SIRG (Snow and Ice Research Group) video conference, Geography Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Presentation: "Mass Balance of the Brewster, Glenmary, Park Pass and Rolleston Glaciers".
22 - 23 September 2008, Polar Environments Theme Science Meeting, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Presentation: “Glacier mass balance research in New Zealand and future projects”.
8 August 2008, Postgraduate Symposium, Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Presentation: “Mass Balances of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand, between 1978 and 2007”. Award for best PhD presentation.
26 – 28 March 2008, Workshop on mass balance measurements and modelling, Skeikampen, Norway. Presentation: “The mass balance of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand, from 1977 – 2007”.
11 – 22 September 2007, summer school on “Ice Sheets and Glaciers in the Climate System”, in Karthaus, Italy
27 – 31 August 2007, poster: “The Mass Balance of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand” at "Glaciers in Watershed and Global Hydrology" Workshop in Obergurgl, Austria
12 – 14 February 2007, abstract/presentation: “Index-Stake Mass-Balance Measurements on Rolleston Glacier” at the annual SIRG workshop on Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand
13 – 15 July 2007, presentation: “Field work in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica” at the „Jahrestagung der Schweizerischen Geomorphologischen Gesellschaft: Klimaveränderungen auf der Spur“, Samedan, Switzerland
12 October 2006, presentation: „The Southern Alps from Air“, seminar talk for the Glacier Research Group, Geography Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
27 September 2006, presentation: “Massenbilanzen auf neuseeländischen Gletschern”, seminar talk at the Geography Department, University of Zurich, Switzerland
21 - 25 August 2006, abstract/poster: “A Method to Investigate Glacier Mass Balances in the Southern Alps, New Zealand” at the “International Symposium Cryospheric Indicators on Global Climate Change” IGS, in Cambridge, UK
28 July 2006, presentation: “Mass Balances of Glaciers of the Southern Alps, New Zealand”, for Women Across Cultures Group, Dunedin, New Zealand
25 May 2006, presentation: “Mass Balances and EOSS on Glaciers of the Southern Alps”, seminar talk for the Glacier Research Group, Geography Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
6 – 10 February 2006, presentation: “Mass Balances and End-of-Summer Snowlines on Glaciers of the Southern Alps, New Zealand” at the GLIMS and SIRG workshop in Twizel, New Zealand
19 August 2005, presentation: “Mass Balances of Glaciers of New Zealand” at the Department of Geography’s Postgraduate Symposium.
24 – 29 April 2005, Poster (as co-author): “Hoelzle M., T. Chinn, D. Stumm, F. Paul, M. Zemp and W. Haeberli. Application of inventory data for estimating characteristics of and regional climate-change effects on mountain glaciers: a comparison between the European Alps and the New Zealand Alps.” for the EGU-Conference in Vienna, Austria.
15/16 January 2005, presentation: “Mass Balances and End-of-summer Snowlines” at SIRG (Snow and Ice Research Group) meeting, in Harihari, New Zealand.
Supervision and Collaboration
Assoc. Prof. Sean Fitzsimons and Dr. Nicolas Cullen of the Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, as well as Dr. Martin Hoelzle, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg Switzerland, and of the World Glacier Monitoring Service.
For the Brewster Mass Balance Programme, we have very good collaboration with Dr. Andrew Mackintosh from the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Science, and Dr. Brian Anderson from the Antarctic Research Centre, both at Victoria University, Wellington. For the modelling part of this study there has been very good collaboration and support from Dr. Horst Machguth, from the Geography Department of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.