Accelerated Volume Loss in Glacier Ablation Zones of NE Greenland, Little Ice Age to Present

Jonathan L. Carrivick*, Clare M. Boston, Owen King, William H.M. James, Duncan J. Quincey, Mark W. Smith, Michael Grimes, Jeff Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Mountain glaciers at the periphery of the Greenland ice sheet are a crucial freshwater and sediment source to the North Atlantic and strongly impact Arctic terrestrial, fjord, and coastal biogeochemical cycles. In this study we mapped the extent of 1,848 mountain glaciers in NE Greenland at the Little Ice Age. We determined area and volume changes for the time periods Little Ice Age to 1980s and 1980s to 2014 and equilibrium line altitudes. There was at least 172.76 ± 34.55-km 3 volume lost between 1910 and 1980s, that is, a rate of 2.61 ± 0.52 km 3 /year. Between 1980s and 2014 the volume lost was 90.55 ± 18.11 km 3 , that is, a rate of 3.22 ± 0.64 km 3 /year, implying an increase of ~23% in the rate of ice volume loss. Overall, at least ~7% of mass loss from Greenland mountain glaciers and ice caps has come from the NE sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1476-1484
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2019


  • glacier
  • Greenland
  • Little Ice Age
  • proglacial
  • sea level
  • volume loss


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