News from the FreyEX (Freya Glacier Experiment) Project

Thomas Marke and Ulrich Strasser, Department of Geography and Regional Sciences, University of Graz, Austria (web:, email:

FreyEx continues research efforts commonly carried out by the Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG, Vienna, Austria) and the Department of Geography (Graz, Austria) with the aim to contribute to an advanced understanding of climate change impacts on Arctic glaciers. First attempts to accurately simulate the mass and energy balance at Freya Glacier (NE-Greenland) based on available meteorological station recordings by using the physically based snow/ice model AMUNDSEN have shown that the ablation of snow/ice can be simulated with good accuracy, while the accumulation in higher elevated parts is poorly reproduced in the standard setup. As this is most propably due to defficiencies in the regionalization of scarcely available precipitation recordings, mass balance measurements at Freya glacier have been included in a statistical analysis to derive a precipitation-elevation relationship that allows to better account for the local climate conditions in the study site. First results with this new approach have shown very promising results. In the framework of future studies the analysis of precipitation-elevation relationships as well as the model application and validation will be extended to further years with available meteorological input and validation data. Furthermore, measurements of the energy balance carried out by a climate station that has been installed directly on the glacier surface in 2011 will be applied for a more detailed model parameterization and validation at the point scale in the near future. Beside the application for a regionalization of meteorological observations, the parameterizations developed in FreyEx can be applied for a sophisticated regionalization of climate model simulations, providing additional meteorological input for the simulation of past and future snow/ice conditions in future research efforts.