Martín Español, Alba and Navarro Valero, Francisco Jose and Otero García, Jaime and Lapazaran Izargain, Javier Jesus and Blaszczyk, M.
Estimate of the total volume of Svalbard glaciers, and their potential contribution to sea-level rise, using new regionally based scaling relationships.
"Journal of Glaciology", v. 61
We present a set of new volume scaling relationships specific to Svalbard glaciers, derived from a sample of 60 volume–area pairs. Glacier volumes are computed from ground-penetrating radar (GPR)-retrieved ice thickness measurements, which have been compiled from different sources for this study. The most precise scaling models, in terms of lowest cross-validation errors, are obtained using a multivariate approach where, in addition to glacier area, glacier length and elevation range are also used as predictors. Using this multivariate scaling approach, together with the Randolph Glacier Inventory V3.2 for Svalbard and Jan Mayen, we obtain a regional volume estimate of 6700 ± 835 km3, or 17 ± 2 mm of sea-level equivalent (SLE). This result lies in the mid- to low range of recently published estimates, which show values as varied as 13 and 24 mm SLE. We assess the sensitivity of the scaling exponents to glacier characteristics such as size, aspect ratio and average slope, and find that the volume of steep-slope and cirque-type glaciers is not very sensitive to changes in glacier area.