Talk by M. Jackson, Norwegian Water Resources & Energy – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Talk by M. Jackson, Norwegian Water Resources & Energy

Svartisen Subglacial Laboratory - secrets from beneath the ice

Svartisen Subglacial Laboratory has been in existence for twenty years. It offers a unique opportunity for glaciologists and other scientists to gain easy, direct access to the bed of a 200 m thick glacier.

Permanently installed instrumentation includes several pressure sensors at the bed of the glacier, some of them in almost continuous operation since 1992, and more recently, several seismometers installed in the rock tunnel but only a few metres away from the ice-rock interface.

There are also three river discharge stations installed in the rock tunnel system, whose measurements can also be used in conjunction with other observations. By melting out a tunnel within the ice, it's possible to take samples of the sediment-rich basal ice that can then be analysed chemically, biologically or in terms of sediment content. It is also possible to install instruments temporarily, such as instruments for measuring basal sliding. Results from experiments performed at the laboratory can also help us to understand processes occurring at other glaciers, including the Greenland Ice Sheet.


Glacier measurements in Bhutan.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) is involved in a co-operative project with the Department of Hydropower and Power Systems and the Department of Hydro-meteorological Services. As part of this project glacier mass balance measurements have been initiated in the upperpart of the Chamkhar Chhu basin. These measurements should help us to increase our knowledge of Himalayan glaciers, learn more about potential jøkulhlaups/GLOFS (Glacier Lake Outburst Floods) and in the future will provide valuable data for hydropower.