Multi-decadal evolution of ice/snow covers in the Mont-Blanc massif (Haute-Savoie, France).

Abstract : Dynamics and evolution of the major glaciers of the Mont-Blanc massif have been vastly studied since the XXth century. Ice/snow covers on steep rock faces as part of the cryosphere however remain poorly studied with only qualitative descriptions existing. The study of ice/snow covers is primordial to further understand permafrost degradation throughout the Mont-Blanc massif and to improve safety and prevention for mountain sports practitioners. This study focuses on quantifying the evolution of ice/snow covers surface during the past century using a specially developed monoplotting tool using Bayesian statistics and Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms. Combining digital elevation models and photographs covering a time-span of 110 years, we calculated the ice/snow cover surface for 3 study sites-North faces of the Tour Ronde (3792 m a.s.l.) and the Grandes Jorasses (4208 m a.s.l.) and Triangle du Tacul (3970 m a.s.l.)-and deduced the evolution of their area throughout the XXth century. First results are showing several increase/decrease periods. The first decrease in ice/snow cover surface occurs between the 1940's and the 1950's. It is followed by an increase up to the 1980's. Since then, ice/snow covers show a general decrease in surface which is faster since the 2010's. Furthermore, the gain/loss during the increase/decrease periods varies with the considered ice/snow cover, making it an interesting cryospheric entity of its own.
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Conference papers
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https://hal-sde.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01784140
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 9:36:05 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 2:21:53 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01784140, version 1

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Grégoire Guillet, Ludovic Ravanel. Multi-decadal evolution of ice/snow covers in the Mont-Blanc massif (Haute-Savoie, France).. Journées de la Section Glaciologie-nivologie de la Société Hydrotechnique de France, Société Hydrotechnique de France, Mar 2017, Grenoble, France. ⟨hal-01784140⟩

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