Polythermal structure of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier revealed by borehole thermometry

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Polythermal structure of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier revealed by borehole thermometry. / Miles, Katie E.; Hubbard, Bryn; Quincey, Duncan Joseph; Miles, Evan S.; Sherpa, Tenzing C.; Rowan, Ann Victoria; Doyle, Samuel H.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 16825, 14.11.2018.

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Miles, Katie E. ; Hubbard, Bryn ; Quincey, Duncan Joseph ; Miles, Evan S. ; Sherpa, Tenzing C. ; Rowan, Ann Victoria ; Doyle, Samuel H. / Polythermal structure of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier revealed by borehole thermometry. In: Scientific Reports. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 1.

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@article{5a6f54572f2943c481c091945635d1d0,
title = "Polythermal structure of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier revealed by borehole thermometry",
abstract = "Runoff from high-elevation debris-covered glaciers represents a crucial water supply for millions of people in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region, where peak water has already passed in places. Knowledge of glacier thermal regime is essential for predicting dynamic and geometric responses to mass balance change and determining subsurface drainage pathways, which ultimately influence proglacial discharge and hence downstream water availability. Yet, deep internal ice temperatures of these glaciers are unknown, making projections of their future response to climate change highly uncertain. Here, we show that the lower part of the ablation area of Khumbu Glacier, a high-elevation debris-covered glacier in Nepal, may contain ~56% temperate ice, with much of the colder shallow ice near to the melting-point temperature (within 0.8°C). From boreholes drilled in the glacier{\textquoteright}s ablation area, we measured a minimum ice temperature of -3.3°C, and even the coldest ice we measured was 2°C warmer than the mean annual air temperature. Our results indicate that high-elevation Himalayan glaciers are vulnerable to even minor atmospheric warming.",
author = "Miles, {Katie E.} and Bryn Hubbard and Quincey, {Duncan Joseph} and Miles, {Evan S.} and Sherpa, {Tenzing C.} and Rowan, {Ann Victoria} and Doyle, {Samuel H.}",
year = "2018",
month = nov,
day = "14",
doi = "10.1038/s41598-018-34327-5",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
journal = "Scientific Reports",
issn = "2045-2322",
publisher = "Springer Nature",
number = "1",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Polythermal structure of a Himalayan debris-covered glacier revealed by borehole thermometry

AU - Miles, Katie E.

AU - Hubbard, Bryn

AU - Quincey, Duncan Joseph

AU - Miles, Evan S.

AU - Sherpa, Tenzing C.

AU - Rowan, Ann Victoria

AU - Doyle, Samuel H.

PY - 2018/11/14

Y1 - 2018/11/14

N2 - Runoff from high-elevation debris-covered glaciers represents a crucial water supply for millions of people in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region, where peak water has already passed in places. Knowledge of glacier thermal regime is essential for predicting dynamic and geometric responses to mass balance change and determining subsurface drainage pathways, which ultimately influence proglacial discharge and hence downstream water availability. Yet, deep internal ice temperatures of these glaciers are unknown, making projections of their future response to climate change highly uncertain. Here, we show that the lower part of the ablation area of Khumbu Glacier, a high-elevation debris-covered glacier in Nepal, may contain ~56% temperate ice, with much of the colder shallow ice near to the melting-point temperature (within 0.8°C). From boreholes drilled in the glacier’s ablation area, we measured a minimum ice temperature of -3.3°C, and even the coldest ice we measured was 2°C warmer than the mean annual air temperature. Our results indicate that high-elevation Himalayan glaciers are vulnerable to even minor atmospheric warming.

AB - Runoff from high-elevation debris-covered glaciers represents a crucial water supply for millions of people in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region, where peak water has already passed in places. Knowledge of glacier thermal regime is essential for predicting dynamic and geometric responses to mass balance change and determining subsurface drainage pathways, which ultimately influence proglacial discharge and hence downstream water availability. Yet, deep internal ice temperatures of these glaciers are unknown, making projections of their future response to climate change highly uncertain. Here, we show that the lower part of the ablation area of Khumbu Glacier, a high-elevation debris-covered glacier in Nepal, may contain ~56% temperate ice, with much of the colder shallow ice near to the melting-point temperature (within 0.8°C). From boreholes drilled in the glacier’s ablation area, we measured a minimum ice temperature of -3.3°C, and even the coldest ice we measured was 2°C warmer than the mean annual air temperature. Our results indicate that high-elevation Himalayan glaciers are vulnerable to even minor atmospheric warming.

U2 - 10.1038/s41598-018-34327-5

DO - 10.1038/s41598-018-34327-5

M3 - Article

C2 - 30429522

VL - 8

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

IS - 1

M1 - 16825

ER -

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