Glaciers of the Dry Valleys occur where snow accumulation gains exceed sublimation and other losses. Monitoring of the mass balance of glaciers in the Dry Valleys was conducted from the 1969/70 summer until the 1990/91 season. The data was used to contribute to the understanding of the mass balance of the glacier-river-lake systems in the Dry Valleys because these fluctuations are indicators of ... climate change in this part of Antarctica. Mass balances, ablation and other measurements were measured since 1969 on several glaciers within the Dry Valleys including the Sykes, Alberich, Heimdall, Upper Wright, Lower Wright, Clarke, Meserve, Bartley, Hart, Goodspeed, Denton and the Wilson Piedmont Glaciers in the Wright Valley, the Upper Victoria, Lower Victoria and Packard Glaciers in the Victoria Valley, the Upper Taylor, La Croix, Suess, Canada and Commonwealth Glaciers in the Taylor Valley and the Miers and Adams Glaciers in the Miers Valley. Not all measurements were made at each glacier in each season. Arrays of stakes were re-measured both at the beginning and at the end of the season for glacier mass balance figures. Sufficient information was collected to calculate a winter balance, summer balance and annual net balance. Different glacier margins were recognised, varying from snow aprons to calving cliffs. Based on a hypothesis that the type of margin may indicate the state of balance of the glacier, flow and strain rates and ablation measurements were made on some glaciers. Photo-theodolite photos were taken of several glaciers on a 1, 2, 5, 10 year basis for mapping and ice movement purposes. (Detailed mapping is beyond the scope of this equipment and in view of the small glacier fluctuations which occur here over lengthy time periods, these measurements will be of a qualitative rather than quantitative form.) Fixed benchmark photography of the glacier termini of several glaciers was completed. Ice cliff distance and height were measured on the Goodspeed, Hart, Meserve and Bartley Glaciers. In the 1980/81 season, where the Lower Wright Glacier enters Lake Brownworth, and the Taylor Glacier enters Lake Bonney, a number of ice samples were taken. Photos of ice crystals taken from samples will be studied to determine the position and formations present, where glacier ice meets the permanent lake ice. In the 1983/84 season, sites were installed and measurements taken to establish the cliff heights of points on the Lower Wright, Upper Wright, Clarke, Victoria, Meserve and Bartley Glacier margins. Sequences of glacier margin photographs taken from fixed points were repeated at the Lower Wright, Meserve and Heimdall Glaciers for comparison with previously taken sequences to determine glacier margin changes.
(Click for Interactive Map)
This data set description is a member of a collection. The
collection is described in
The data was collected at the time by the New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development, a part of the Division of Science and Industrial Research (DSIR). The DSIR was disbanded and several new organisations were formed. At this time, the investigator was concerned about the survival of the large amount of data generated by this project. In the late 1990s while working with the National Institute ... of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), he collated all of the hydrological data, had it checked for quality and then permanently filed in the NIWA electronic archives. A copy was also supplied to the University of New Hampshire, USA, who at the time had continued some work on the Onyx River. The investigator still holds the files of the programmes, correspondence etc. for the period that the Ministry of Works ran the programme. All of the reports were also submitted to Antarctica New Zealand as their Science Reports and copies of these are retained in their archives. Please contact either the investigator or Antarctica New Zealand for more information.