Bogerbreen mass balance monitoring program RiS ID 11642
Bogerbreen is a cold-based, c.4 km long valley glacier draining into Isdammen, a lake used for winter water supply to Longyearbyen.
As other small glaciers in Svalbard, Bogerbreen has been retreating since the end of the Little Ice Age.
Considering the importance of Bogerbreen to Longyearbyen community, its mass balance program is now integrated into two courses (AG340, AG221 and AG204) in the Arctic Geology Department at the University Centre in Svalbard
Bogerbreen has a Y shaped front due to underlying geology, thus part of meltwater produced by the glacier is advencted to Fardalen (West) and part to Endalen (East). Since only Endalen drainage is delivering water to the communal water supply, monitoring the retreat is essential for giving the local government an early warning if water redistribution was about to change.
To better understand this threat and remove uncertainty, ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys were performed on the AG340 course. The study revealed that a bedrock ridge with North-South direction exists beneath the front of the glacier (see red brackets on pictures). Thus, when the glacier retreats further, it is very likely that majority of the drainage will be directed towards Endalen and then drinking water reservoir.
The rapid retreat of Bogerbreen is certain as its mass balance follows the general negative trend observed in all glaciers in Svalbard in the last decades. To support mass balance program, SvalDEM project will deliver digital elevation models for this glacier every few years. Below is the result of the 2021 initial survey, and summer ice loss data collected to date. Data from 2005 come from Neumann 2006.