Degree-day melt models for paleoclimate reconstruction from tropical glaciers: calibration from mass balance and meteorological data of the Zongo glacier (Bolivia, 16° S) P.-H. Blard1, P. Wagnon2,3, J. Lavé1, A. Soruco4, J.-E. Sicart2,3, and B. Francou3 1Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques, CNRS UPR2300, Université de Lorraine, 15 rue Notre Dame des Pauvres, BP20, 54501 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, Cedex, France 2Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement, CNRS UMR5183, Université Joseph Fourier,-Grenoble 1, CNRS, IRD, G-INP, 38402, Grenoble, France 3Laboratoire d'étude des Transferts en Hydrologie et Environnement, UMR5564, Université Joseph Fourier,-Grenoble 1, CNRS, G-INP, IRD, 38402, Grenoble, France 4Instituto de Investigaciones Geológicas y del Medio Ambiente (IGEMA), Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA), Calle 27, Pabellón 3, Campus Universitario Cota Cota, Casilla 35140, La Paz, Bolivia
Received: 29 May 2011 – Accepted: 08 June 2011 – Published: 24 June 2011
Abstract. This paper describes several simple positive degree-day models (hereafter
referred as "PDD models") designed to provide past climatic reconstruction
from tropical glacier paleo-equilibrium altitude lines (paleo-ELA). Several
ablation laws were tested and calibrated using the monthly ablation and
meteorological data recorded from 1997 to 2006 on the Zongo glacier
(Cordillera Real, Bolivia, 16° S). The performed inversion analyses
indicate that the model provides a better reconstruction of the mass balance
if the ablation is modeled with different melting factors for snow and ice.
The inclusion of short-wave solar radiations does not induce a substantial
improvement. However, this type of model may be very useful to quantify the
effects of local topographic (orientation, shading) and to take into account
incoming solar radiation changes at geological timescale. The performed
sensitivity test indicates that, in spite of the uncertainty in the
calibrated snow-ice ablation factors, all models are able to provide
paleotemperatures with ~1 °C uncertainty for a given
paleoprecipitation. This error includes a 50 m uncertainty in the estimate
of the paleoELA. Finally, the models are characterized by different
precipitation-temperature sensitivities: if a similar warming is applied,
model including different ablation factors for snow and ice requires a lower
precipitation increase (by ∼15 %) than others to maintain the ELA.
Citation: Blard, P.-H., Wagnon, P., Lavé, J., Soruco, A., Sicart, J.-E., and Francou, B.: Degree-day melt models for paleoclimate reconstruction from tropical glaciers: calibration from mass balance and meteorological data of the Zongo glacier (Bolivia, 16° S), Clim. Past Discuss., 7, 2119-2158, doi:10.5194/cpd-7-2119-2011, 2011.