Guidelines for glacier fluctuation data

Measurement of glacier front variations

  • Forel, F.A. (1895): Instructions pour l’observation des variations des glaciers. Discours préliminaire. Archives des Sciences physiques et naturelles, XXXIV: 209-229.
  • PSFG (1967): Fluctuations of Glaciers 1959-1965 (Vol. I). P. Kasser (ed.), IAHS (ICSI) / UNESCO, Permanent Service on Fluctuations on Glaciers, Zurich, Switzerland: 52 pp.

Measurement of glacier mass balance from glaciological and geodetic methods

  • Francou, B., Pouyaud, B. and 12 others (2004). Métodos de observación de glaciares en los Andes opicales. Mediciones de terreno y procesamiento de datos. Versión 1, Great Ice, IRD, France: 238pp. [pdf]
  • Kaser, G., Fountain, A., and Jansson, P. (2003): A manual for monitoring the mass balance of mountain glaciers with particular attention to low latitude characteristics. A contribution from the International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI) to the UNESCO HKH-Friend programme. IHP-VI, Technical Documents in Hydrology, No. 59, UNESCO, Paris. 107 p. + Appendices. [pdf]
  • Østrem, G. and Stanley, A. (1969): Glacier mass balance measurements. A manual for field and office work. Canadian Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Norwegian Water Resources and Electricity Board. 125 pp.
  • Østrem, G. and Brugman, M. (1991): Glacier mass-balance measurements: a manual for field and office work, NHRI Science Report. 224 pp. [pdf]
  • Stumm, D., Joshi, S.P., Salzmann, N. and S. MacDonell (2017): In situ monitoring of mountain glaciers: Experiences from mountain ranges around the world and recommendations for the Hindu Kush Himalaya. ICIMOD Working Paper 2017/7. Kathmandu: ICIMOD. [pdf]
  • UNESCO 1970/73. Combined heat, ice and water balances at selected glacier basins. Part I: A guide for compilation and assemblage of data for glacier mass balance measurements. Part II: Specifications, standards and data exchange. UNESCO/ IAHS Technical Papers in Hydrology 5. [pdf]
  • Zemp, M., Thibert, E., Huss, M., Stumm, D., Rolstad Denby, C., Nuth, C., Nussbaumer, S.U., Moholdt, G., Mercer, A., Mayer, C., Joerg, P.C., Jansson, P., Hynek, B., Fischer, A., Escher-Vetter, H., Elvehøy, H. and L.M. Andreassen (2013): Reanalysing glacier mass balance measurement series. The Cryosphere 7, 1227-1245, doi: 10.5194/tc-7-1227-2013. [pdf]

Mass balance terminology

  • Anonymous (1969): Mass-balance terms. Journal of Glaciology, 8 (52): 3-7.
  • Cogley, J.G. (2010): Mass-balance terms revisited. Journal of Glaciology, 56 (200): 997-1001. [pdf]
  • Cogley, J.G., Hock, R., Rasmussen, L.A., Arendt, A.A., Bauder, A., Braithwaite, R.J., Jansson, P., Kaser, G., Möller, M., Nicholson, L. and Zemp, M. (2011): Glossary of Glacier Mass Balance and Related Terms. IHP_VII Technical Documents in Hydrology No. 86, IACS Contribution No. 2, UNESCO-IHP, Paris. [pdf]

More guidelines on glacier fluctuations as well as the current data submission form can be found on the WGMS website!

Guidelines for the World Glacier Inventory (mainly based on aerial photography and maps)

  • Müller, F., Caflisch, T. and Müller, G. (eds.). 1977. Instructions for the compilation and assemblage of data for a world glacier inventory. IAHS(ICSI)/UNESCO report, Temporal Technical Secretariat for the World Glacier Inventory (TTS/WGI), ETH Zurich, Switzerland. [pdf]
  • Müller, F. (ed.). 1978. Instructions for the compilation and assemblage of data for a world glacier inventory; Supplement: Identification/glacier number IAHS(ICSI)/UNEP/UNESCO report, Temporal Technical Secretariat for the World Glacier Inventory (TTS/WGI), ETH Zurich, Switzerland. [pdf]
  • Scherler, K. (ed.). 1983. Guidelines for preliminary glacier inventories. IAHS(ICSI)/ UNEP/UNESCO report, Temporal Technical Secretariat for the World Glacier Inventory (TTS/WGI), ETH Zurich, Switzerland. [pdf]
  • UNESCO (1970): Perennial ice and snow masses – a guide for compilation and assemblage of data for the World Glacier Inventory. Technical Papers in Hydrology No. 1. [pdf]

Guidelines for the Glacier Inventory of the GLIMS initiative (mainly based on satellite images)

  • Bishop, M.P., Barry, R.G., Bush, A.B.G., Copeland, L., Dwyer, J.L., Fountain, A.G., Haeberli, W., Hall, D.K., Kääb, A., Kargel, J.S., Molnia, B.F., Olsenholler, J.A., Paul, F., Raup, B.H., Shroder, J.F., Trabant, D.C., and Wessels, R. (2004): Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS): Remote sensing and GIS investigations of the Earth’s cryosphere. Geocarto International, 19 (2), 57-85.
  • GLIMS Algorithm Working Group. (2006): GLIMS algorithm document. [link]
  • Kargel, J.S., Abrams, M.J., Bishop, M.P., Bush, A., Hamilton, G., Jiskoot, H., Kääb, A., Kieffer, H.H., Lee, E.M., Paul, F., Rau, F., Raup, B., Shroder, J.F., Soltesz, D., Stearns, L., Wessels, R., and the GLIMS Consortium (2005): Multispectral imaging contributions to Global Land Ice Measurements from Space. Remote Sensing of Environment, 99, 187-219.
  • Rau, F., Mauz, F., Vogt, S., Khalsa, J.S., and Raup B. (2005): Illustrated GLIMS glacier classification manual. Glacier classification guidance for the GLIMS inventory. NSIDC: 36 pp. [pdf]
  • Raup, B.H., Kieffer, H.H., Hare, T.M., and Kargel, J.S. (2000): Generation of Data Acquisition Requests for the ASTER Satellite Instrument for Monitoring a Globally Distributed Target: Glaciers. IEEE Transactions On Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 38 (2), 1105-1112. [pdf]
  • Raup, B.H., and Khalsa, J.S. (2007). GLIMS analysis tutorial. Draft, 20070522. 15 p. [pdf]
  • Raup, B.H., Kääb, A., Kargel, J.S., Bishop, M.P., Hamilton, G., Lee, E., Paul, F., Rau, F., Soltesz, D., Khalsa, S.J.S., Beedle, M., and Helm, C. (2007): Remote Sensing and GIS technology in the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) Project. Computers and Geosciences, 33, 104-125. [pdf]
  • Raup, B.H., Racoviteanu, A., Khalsa, S.J.S., Helm, C., Armstrong, R., and Arnaud, Y. (2007): The GLIMS Geospatial Glacier Database: a new tool for studying glacier change. Global and Planetary Change, 56, 101-110. [pdf]

More GLIMS literature can be found on the GLIMS website!

Based on the glacier inventory standards above, recommendations and requirements for satellite-based components of cryospheric monitoring have been derived, published, and updated in:

  • GCOS (2006): Systematic observation requirements for satellite-based products for climate. Supplemental details to the satellite-based component of the “Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC”, Report GCOS-107 (WMO/TD No. 1338), September 2006. 90p. [pdf]
  • GTOS (2006): Global Terrestrial Observing System Biennial Report 2004-2005. GTOS-40. [pdf]
  • GTOS (2008): Terrestrial essential climate variables for climate change assessment, mitigation and adaptation. GTOS-52. [pdf]
  • IGOS (2007): IGOS Cryosphere theme For the Monitoring of our Environment from Space and from Earth. May 2007. 122p. [pdf]
  • WMO (2023): Guide to instruments and methods of observation. Vol II – measurement of cryospheric variables. World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland: 96. [pdf]


last change 23/05/2024