Development and testing of a temperature and radiation based melt model for glaciers in the Canadian Rockies
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AbstractA snow and ice ablation model was developed for the Haig Glacier, Rocky Mountains, Alberta through measurements of mass balance, ablation, and albedo over the 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 mass balance years. Results suggest that the difference in summer balance between the two seasons is partly due to the albedo effects of summer snowfalls in 2002 and the large area of ice that was exposed in 2003. Albedo measurements show a decrease in snow albedo with time that is a function of temperature, and that variation of albedo with changing solar angle is important. Ice albedo showed weak elevation and spatial dependence. Ablation measurement comparisons show that the model is useful for modelling ablation over hourly and seasonal time-scales. However, results indicate that the weak dependence of ablation on elevation in the model as formulated may make application to glaciers with greater elevation span than the Haig Glacier difficult.
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