Observed melt-season snowpack evolution on the Greenland ice sheet
Due to recent warm and record-warm summers in Greenland (Nghiem et al. 2012), the melt of the ice-sheet surface and the subsequent runoff are increasing (Shepherd et al. 2012). About 84% of the mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet between 2009 and 2012 resulted from increased surface runoff (Enderlin et al. 2014). The largest melt occurs in the ablation zone, the low marginal area of the ice sheet (Van As et al. 2014), where melt exceeds wintertime accumulation and bare ice is thus exposed during each melt season. In the higher regions of the ice sheet (i.e. the accumulation area), melt is limited and the snow cover persists throughout the year. It is in the vast latter area that models struggle to calculate certain mass fluxes with accuracy. A better understanding of processes such as meltwater percolation and refreezing in snow and firn is crucial for more accurate Greenland ice-sheet mass-budget estimates (Van Angelen et al. 2013).
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