In a new report NVE presents results from measurements of Norwegian glaciers in 2018. The report describes measurements of glacier mass balance and glacier length changes. There is also information about measurement of glacier movement, jøkulhlaups and meteorological measurements at some glaciers, and the report describes measurements from the Svartisen Subglacial Observatory beneath Engabreen.

Hansebreen (left part) and Ålfotbreen (right part), two north-facing glaciers in western Norway, on 13th August 2018. Mass balance measurements have been performed since 1963 on Ålfotbreen and since 1986 on Hansebreen. Photo: Hallgeir Elvehøy.

Mass balance

Mass balance investigations were performed on eleven glaciers in Norway in 2018. The winter balance for six of the reference glaciers (those with a mass balance series back to at least 1981) was lower than the 1981-2010 average. Only Nigardsbreen had greater winter balance than the average. Gråsubreen had the lowest relative winter balance with 49 % of the reference period. The summer balance was higher than the 1981-2010 average for all the seven reference glaciers. Gråsubreen had the highest relative summer balance with 190 % of the reference period and Storbreen had the highest summer balance (−3.24 m w.e.) since measurements started in 1949. Consequently, the annual balance was negative for all the seven reference glaciers and of these, Ålfotbreen had the highest deficit with −2.0 m w.e. Of all the measured glaciers, Hansebreen had the highest deficit with −2.7 m w.e. Storbreen and Gråsubreen had the second highest deficit since measurements started in 1949 and 1963, respectively.

Glacier length change

Glacier length changes were measured at 26 glaciers in southern Norway and 6 glaciers in northern Norway. Twenty-nine of the glaciers had a decrease in length and three had a small advance. The largest retreats were observed at Engabreen (140 m) and Gråfjellsbrea (125 m).

Reference and link to the report for 2018:

Bjarne Kjøllmoen (Ed.), Liss M. Andreassen, Hallgeir Elvehøy and Miriam Jackson, 2019: Glaciological investigations in Norway 2018, NVE Rapport 46-2019, 84 pp +app. http://publikasjoner.nve.no/rapport/2019/rapport2019_46.pdf