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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 4
The Cryosphere, 9, 1385–1400, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1385-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 9, 1385–1400, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1385-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 30 Jul 2015

Research article | 30 Jul 2015

The impact of Saharan dust and black carbon on albedo and long-term mass balance of an Alpine glacier

J. Gabbi et al.

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Short summary
Light-absorbing impurities in snow and ice increase the absorption of solar radiation and thus enhance melting. We investigated the effect of Saharan dust and black carbon on the mass balance of an Alpine glacier over 1914-2014. Snow impurities increased melt by 15-19% depending on the location on the glacier. From the accumulation area towards the equilibrium line, the effect of impurities increased as more frequent years with negative mass balance led to a re-exposure of dust-enriched layers.
Light-absorbing impurities in snow and ice increase the absorption of solar radiation and thus...
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