Debris Thickness of Glaciers in the Everest Area (Nepal Himalaya) Derived from Satellite Imagery Using a Nonlinear Energy Balance Model

dc.contributor.utaustinauthorRounce, D. R.en_US
dc.contributor.utaustinauthorMcKinney, D. C.en_US
dc.creatorRounce, D. R.en_US
dc.creatorMcKinney, D. C.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2016-09-23T18:06:52Z
dc.date.available2016-09-23T18:06:52Z
dc.date.issued2014-07en_US
dc.description.abstractDebris thickness is an important characteristic of debris-covered glaciers in the Everest region of the Himalayas. The debris thickness controls the melt rates of the glaciers, which has large implications for hydrologic models, the glaciers' response to climate change, and the development of glacial lakes. Despite its importance, there is little knowledge of how the debris thickness varies over these glaciers. This paper uses an energy balance model in conjunction with Landsat7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) satellite imagery to derive thermal resistances, which are the debris thickness divided by the thermal conductivity. Model results are reported in terms of debris thickness using an effective thermal conductivity derived from field data. The developed model accounts for the nonlinear temperature gradient in the debris cover to derive reasonable debris thicknesses. Fieldwork performed on Imja-Lhotse Shar Glacier in September 2013 was used to compare to the modeled debris thicknesses. Results indicate that accounting for the nonlinear temperature gradient is crucial. Furthermore, correcting the incoming shortwave radiation term for the effects of topography and resampling to the resolution of the thermal band's pixel is imperative to deriving reasonable debris thicknesses. Since the topographic correction is important, the model will improve with the quality of the digital elevation model (DEM). The main limitation of this work is the poor resolution (60m) of the satellite's thermal band. The derived debris thicknesses are reasonable at this resolution, but trends related to slope and aspect are unable to be modeled on a finer scale. Nonetheless, the study finds this model derives reasonable debris thicknesses on this scale and was applied to other debris-covered glaciers in the Everest region.en_US
dc.description.departmentCenter for Water and the Environmenten_US
dc.description.sponsorshipUSAID Climate Change Resilient Development (CCRD) projecten_US
dc.identifierdoi:10.15781/T2J678Z0M
dc.identifier.citationRounce, D. R., and D. C. McKinney. "Debris thickness of glaciers in the Everest area (Nepal Himalaya) derived from satellite imagery using a nonlinear energy balance model." The Cryosphere 8, no. 4 (Jul., 2014): 1317-1329.en_US
dc.identifier.doi10.5194/tc-8-1317-2014en_US
dc.identifier.issn1994-0416en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/41129
dc.language.isoEnglishen_US
dc.relation.ispartofen_US
dc.relation.ispartofserialCryosphereen_US
dc.rightsAdministrative deposit of works to Texas ScholarWorks: This works author(s) is or was a University faculty member, student or staff member; this article is already available through open access or the publisher allows a PDF version of the article to be freely posted online. The library makes the deposit as a matter of fair use (for scholarly, educational, and research purposes), and to preserve the work and further secure public access to the works of the University.en_US
dc.rights.restrictionOpenen_US
dc.subjectcovered glaciersen_US
dc.subjectsurface-temperatureen_US
dc.subjectmeteorological dataen_US
dc.subjectkhumbuen_US
dc.subjectglacieren_US
dc.subjectice melten_US
dc.subjectlayeren_US
dc.subjectablationen_US
dc.subjectbanden_US
dc.subjecthazardsen_US
dc.subjectbeneathen_US
dc.subjectgeography, physicalen_US
dc.subjectgeosciences, multidisciplinaryen_US
dc.titleDebris Thickness of Glaciers in the Everest Area (Nepal Himalaya) Derived from Satellite Imagery Using a Nonlinear Energy Balance Modelen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US

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