DataSheet1_Ice Cliff Dynamics of Debris-Covered Trakarding Glacier in the Rolwaling Region, Nepal Himalaya.pdf (2.4 MB)
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DataSheet1_Ice Cliff Dynamics of Debris-Covered Trakarding Glacier in the Rolwaling Region, Nepal Himalaya.pdf

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posted on 10.06.2021, 10:25 by Yota Sato, Koji Fujita, Hiroshi Inoue, Sojiro Sunako, Akiko Sakai, Akane Tsushima, Evgeny A. Podolskiy, Rakesh Kayastha, Rijan B. Kayastha

Ice cliffs can act as “hot spots” for melt on debris-covered glaciers and promote local glacier mass loss. Repeat high-resolution remote-sensing data are therefore required to monitor the role of ice cliff dynamics in glacier mass loss. Here we analyze high-resolution aerial photogrammetry data acquired during the 2007, 2018, and 2019 post-monsoon seasons to delineate and monitor the morphology, distribution, and temporal changes of the ice cliffs across the debris-covered Trakarding Glacier in the eastern Nepal Himalaya. We generate an ice cliff inventory from the 2018 and 2019 precise terrain data, with ice cliffs accounting for 4.7 and 6.1% of the debris-covered area, respectively. We observe large surface lowering (>2.0 m a−1) where there is a denser distribution of ice cliffs. We also track the survival, formation, and disappearance of ice cliffs from 2018 to 2019, and find that ∼15% of the total ice cliff area is replaced by new ice cliffs. Furthermore, we observe the overall predominance of northwest-facing ice cliffs, although we do observe spatial heterogeneities in the aspect variance of the ice cliffs (ice cliffs face in similar/various directions). Many new ice cliffs formed across the stagnant middle sections of the glacier, coincident with surface water drainage and englacial conduit intake observations. This spatial relationship between ice cliffs and the glacier hydrological system suggests that these englacial and supraglacial hydrological systems play a significant role in ice cliff formation.

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