Monday, July 16, 2018

Kibo summit snow


In mid-July, Kibo remains almost entirely snow covered at high elevations. The image above depicts this snowcover along the crater rim on 10 July, looking toward Uhuru Peak with the upper Deckens Glacier on the left. Snowdepth varies considerably in mountainous terrain, due to both snowfall and ablation processes, yet nearly one meter of snow remains on the Northern Icefield (0.98 m). This represents net accumulation since the beginning of March. Relative to the glacier surface in early October - when we visited for fieldwork - the net increase in surface height is 0.72 m.

Additional detail on Kibo snow is provided by the images below. The first is a Sentinel-2 image from 13 July, with uniform snowcover in the crater and extending down all slopes. Note some thinning and emergence of bare spots in the past few weeks (see earlier posts). Below the satellite image is one from just below Stella Point, showing the depth of accumulation on 10 July. The final image also looks toward Uhuru Peak (with 40+ people), across the Furtwängler Glacier, and towards the Northern Icefield; penitentes in the foreground typically develop in deeper snow at this time of year, due to sublimation. They will likely keep growing for the next couple months.

Many thanks to our friend Timba in Moshi for providing these images!

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