Computer simulation of glacier mass balance throughout an ablation season

TitleComputer simulation of glacier mass balance throughout an ablation season
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1974
AuthorsWilliams, L. D.
Conference Name42nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 42nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1974
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationAnchorage, Alaska
KeywordsGlaciers - ablation, Glaciers - research studies

A computer program is described wich simulates changes in snow water equivalent or glacier mass balance over a gridded topography throughout an ablation season. Initial conditions of snow accumulation are specified by a method suggested by G. J. Young. Heat and water budgets are estimated from meteorological data (measured or hyothetical) to predict ablation on a daily basis. By careful programming it is attempted to minimize computer time while maintaining reliability for a large number of grid points. A test of the model for a 6 by 9 km area on Baffin Island is found to give adequate agreement with observations. While further tests are necessary to validate the model, it is felt likely to be suitable for a number of applications in snow hydrology and glaciology.