Location

Portland State University

Start Date

7-5-2019 11:00 AM

End Date

7-5-2019 1:00 PM

Subjects

Meltwater -- Antarctica -- Taylor Valley, Stream measurements -- Antarctica -- Taylor Valley -- Mathematical models, Lakes -- Antarctica -- Taylor Valley, Water supply -- Antarctica -- Taylor Valley -- Effect of climatic changes on

Abstract

The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) are the largest ice-free region (4,500 km2) in Antarctica. The MDV are a polar desert with an average annual temperature of -18˚C and minimal precipitation, < 50 mm w.e. a-1. In Taylor Valley (77°35’ S, 163°00’ E), a closed-basin, perennially ice-covered lakes occupy the valley floor. Ephemeral streams transfer glacier meltwater for ~10 weeks each summer. Glacial meltwater accounts for nearly the total inflow to these streams and lakes, groundwater is essentially non-existent. A microbially-dominated ecosystem in Taylor Valley depends on glacier runoff and thus is highly sensitive to changes to the hydroclimatic regime. A model of water supply in Taylor Valley will aid in predicting ecosystem response to a changing climate. Mean summer air temperatures are below 0˚C so glacier ablation shows a complex sensitivity to solar radiation and wind speed, elevating the need for a distributed, physically-based energy balance model tuned specifically to local conditions. The ICEMELT model, driven by local weather measurements and calibrated using glacier ablation measurements, is applied to simulate streamflow and lake level from 1995 to 2015. Meltwater inflow, sublimation from the lake ice, and basin geometry, were used to calculate lake level. Initial model results show that initiation and peak timing of streamflow are modeled well. Seasonal and daily flow volume correspond well to measured values for streams sourced from two glaciers, but are under-predicted for streams flowing from two other glaciers. Lake level predictions are good for those lakes that drain the well-modeled glacial streams.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/28616

Share

COinS
 
May 7th, 11:00 AM May 7th, 1:00 PM

Glacial Meltwater Modeling to Simulate Streamflow and Lake Levels in Taylor Valley, Antarctica

Portland State University

The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) are the largest ice-free region (4,500 km2) in Antarctica. The MDV are a polar desert with an average annual temperature of -18˚C and minimal precipitation, < 50 mm w.e. a-1. In Taylor Valley (77°35’ S, 163°00’ E), a closed-basin, perennially ice-covered lakes occupy the valley floor. Ephemeral streams transfer glacier meltwater for ~10 weeks each summer. Glacial meltwater accounts for nearly the total inflow to these streams and lakes, groundwater is essentially non-existent. A microbially-dominated ecosystem in Taylor Valley depends on glacier runoff and thus is highly sensitive to changes to the hydroclimatic regime. A model of water supply in Taylor Valley will aid in predicting ecosystem response to a changing climate. Mean summer air temperatures are below 0˚C so glacier ablation shows a complex sensitivity to solar radiation and wind speed, elevating the need for a distributed, physically-based energy balance model tuned specifically to local conditions. The ICEMELT model, driven by local weather measurements and calibrated using glacier ablation measurements, is applied to simulate streamflow and lake level from 1995 to 2015. Meltwater inflow, sublimation from the lake ice, and basin geometry, were used to calculate lake level. Initial model results show that initiation and peak timing of streamflow are modeled well. Seasonal and daily flow volume correspond well to measured values for streams sourced from two glaciers, but are under-predicted for streams flowing from two other glaciers. Lake level predictions are good for those lakes that drain the well-modeled glacial streams.