Snow and ice

Ice cores

Ice core
We study ice cores from glaciers in Svalbard and Canada as well as the Greenland ice sheet to infer past climate conditions. The biology, chemistry and physics of the ice cores is a unique window in time allowing us to understand past climate dynamics, environmental conditions and air pollution.

Our experts: Christian Zdanowicz, Veijo Pohjola
Selection of publications:
Historical black carbon deposition in the Canadian High Arctic: A >250-year long ice-core record from Devon Island. Zdanowicz, C., Proemse, B.C., Edwards, R. et al. (2018).

Historical variations of mercury stable isotope ratios in arctic glacier firn and ice cores. Zdanowicz, C., Krümmel, E.M., Poulain, A.J. et al. (2016).

Effect of periodic melting on geochemical and isotopic signals in an ice core from Lomonosovfonna, Svalbard. Pohjola, VA., JC.Moore et al. (2002).

Glacier mass balance

Glacier mass balance
We measure both accumulation and ablation (together they form the mass balance) in the field and model it using atmospheric and energy balance models. Understanding how the mass gains and losses of a glacier are changing in the future is crucial to predict whether a glacier will grow or retreat.

Our expertsChristian Zdanowicz, Veijo Pohjola, Ward van Pelt, Rickard Pettersson
Selection of publications:
Historical glacier change on Svalbard predicts doubling of mass loss by 2100. Geyman, E.C., W.J.J. van Pelt, A.C. Maloof, H. Faste Aas, and J. Kohler (2022).

A long-term dataset of climatic mass balance, snow conditions and runoff in Svalbard (1957–2018). Van Pelt, W.J.J., V.A. Pohjola, R. Pettersson, S. Marchenko et al. (2019)

Atmospheric circulation and variations in Scandinavian mass balance. Pohjola, VA, and JC.Rogers (1997)

Ice dynamics

ice dynamics
Although seemingly brittle, glaciers in fact behave like a viscous fluid slowly flowing downhill under their own weight (similar to honey). Besides this shear-dominated movement, they can also slide over or with the underlying sediment. We study these processes using field observations and numerical models, ultimately allowing us to predict the future evolution of glaciers under climate warming.

Our experts: Veijo Pohjola, Ward van PeltRickard Pettersson, Thomas Frank
Selection of publications:
Dynamic response of a High Arctic glacier to melt and runoff variations. Van Pelt, W.J.J., V.A. Pohjola, R. Pettersson,  et al. (2018)

Effects of undercutting and sliding on calving: a coupled approach applied to Kronebreen, Svalbard.  Vallot, D., J. Åström, T. Zwinger, R. Pettersson, A. Everett, D.I. Benn, A. Luckman, W.J.J. van Pelt and F. Nick. (2018)

Studying the effects of strain heating on glacial flow within outlet glaciers from the Heimefrontfjella Range, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica.Pohjola, VA. and J.Hedfors (2003).

Snow science

snow science in a forestWe investigate when snow falls, how much snow accumulates, how it is redistributed, and how this changes over time. Using remote sensing observations, models and artificial intelligence, we monitor snow conditions, predict snow melt and evaluate its implications for, among others, hydropower production and flood risk. We also investigate the deposition of pollutants in snow, such as black carbon (soot) and heavy metals.

Our experts:Jie ZhangVeijo PohjolaWard van PeltChristian Zdanowicz

Selection of publications:
Elemental and water-insoluble organic carbon in Svalbard snow: A synthesis of observations during 2007–2018. Zdanowicz, C., Gallet, J.-C., Björkman, M.P. et al. (2021) 

Improving the snowpack monitoring in the mountainous areas of Sweden from space: a machine learning approach. Zhang, J., Pohjola, V. A., Pettersson, R., Norell, B., Marchand, W. D., Clemenzi, I., & Gustafsson, D. (2021)

Multi-decadal climate and seasonal snow conditions in Svalbard. Van Pelt, W.J.J., J. Kohler, G.E. Liston, J.O. Hagen, B. Luks, C.H. Reijmer and V.A. Pohjola (2016)

Glacial hydrology

Glacier hydrology
Water flowing on top of, inside and under glaciers has far-reaching implications for glacier mass balance and dynamics, thus being a key variable for predictions of glacier response to climate. Our contributions to this field range from case studies on individual glaciers to geophysical observations on a larger scale, alongside a focus on implementing theoretical frameworks in computational models.

Our experts: Ward van Pelt, Veijo Pohjola, Rickard Pettersson.
Selection of publications:
Mass-conserving subglacial hydrology in the Parallel Ice Sheet Model. Bueler, E.L. and W.J.J. van Pelt (2015). 

TV-video observations of englacial voids in Storglaciären, Sweden. Pohjola, VA.(1994)

Parameterizing deep water percolation improves subsurface temperature simulations by a multilayer firn model. Marchenko, S., WJJ.van Pelt, B.Claremar, VA. Pohjola, R.Pettersson, H.Machguth, and C.Reijmer. (2017).

Last modified: 2022-11-18