Rembesdalskåka 26th September 2013. Photo Hallgeir Elvehøy

The south-west-facing Rembesdalsskåka (17 km2) is the largest outlet glacier and covers the altitude range between 1020 and 1860 m a.s.l. The glacier drains to Simadalen and Hardangerfjorden. Glaciological investigations include mass balance observations since 1963 and glacier length change measurements since 1917. The results can be viewed and downloaded from NVEs glacier data portal. The data are also published in the series 'Glaciological Investigations in Norway'. See also photos of the glacier.

Mass balance
In 1963, the Norwegian Polar Institute started mass balance measurements on Rembesdalsskåka. Since 1985, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) has carried out the mass balance measurements. The mass balance measurements are part of the licensing terms for Sima hydro-electric power plant. During an average winter, approximately 5 m of snow accumulates on the upper part of Rembesdalskåka. The surface mass balance series from 1963 to 2014 have been reanalysed. Results from NVE’s mass balance measurements on Rembesdalskåka are published in the series ’Glaciological investigations in Norway’.  

Glacier length change
At the cullmination of  the Little Ice Age (18th century), Rembesdalsskåka was approximately 2 km longer than today, and covered half of the lake Rembesdalsvatnet which at present is a reservoir for the Sima hydro-electric power plant. In 1917, Rekstad at Bergen Museum (later University of Bergen), initiated glacier length observations. At that time, the terminus of Rembesdalsskåka was located at the up-stream shore of Rembesdalsvatnet. The glacier advanced during the 1920s, but melted back 1 km until the 1980s. The glacier advanced approximately 200 m during the 1980s and 1990s, and the advance culminated in 1997. Rembesdalsskåka has retreated since 1997.


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