Fluorometry investigations of the hydrology at the Skjerdingane glacier
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Alpine cirque glaciers and their drainage systems are difficult to access and study, but they represent an important part of the glaciated surface in alpine regions. A better understanding of the hydrology of alpine cirque glaciers may offer valuable insights about the glacier itself, the surrounding macro- and microclimates, and how these are interrelated and change over time. Fluorometric dye tracing techniques have been used extensively to study these remote systems. The Skjerdingane glacier in Sogndalsdalen in southern Norway is a cirque glacier which is located below its climatological equilibrium line, which makes it a particularly interesting glacier to study. The project aim is to determine the suitability of using fluorometry techniques to study the englacial and proglacial drainage systems of the Skjerdingane cirque glacier. A substantial part of our investigation is focused on understanding the methods used in dye tracing, by approaching the methods from different angles. In this thesis, we use dye tracing to measure the discharge of the proglacial stream originating at the Skjerdingane glacier during melting season. We have also performed several measurements on the englacial drainage system, which proved difficult due to the presence of a glacial lake. Based on this, we did a preliminary investigation into the problems associated with passing dye signals through large bodies of standing water. These results were accomplished through studying fluorometry techniques at three different levels; 1) simulating the diffusion of dye with a numerical model, 2) experimenting with different dye tracing setups in the laboratory, and 3) combining these findings with our field measurements from the Skjerdingane glacier.
Geology and geohazards GE491 AIN 01.06.2017