Massive glacier melt in 2015

After a pleasant winter with 5 % more snow accumulation than average, the second warmest summer in history of temperature measurements and the driest summer since 1911 in Austria, melting rates were near record level from 2003. At the glacier terminus of Pasterze, the thickness of ice decreases up to 10 m, between autumn 2014 and autumn 2015. Overall, the annual mass balance for Pasterze is -1.4 m w.e. a-1. For the glaciers at Hoher Sonnblick, the annual mass balance for Kleinfleißkees is -1.4 m w.e. a-1 and for Goldbergkees -1.9 m w.e. a-1.

Evolution of the terminus of Pasterze between 2011 and 2015.

Drilling and DGPS survey of a ablationstake in the upper part of Pasterze (photo: R. Koch).

Annual mass balance [mm w.e. a-1] of Pasterze 2014/2015.