Last 2021 visit to the JOSTICE Automatic Weather Station on Nigardsbreen

by Jacob Yde, December 6, 2021

The JOSTICE Automatic Weather Station (AWS) is preparing for its first winter on Nigardsbreen. Today NVE paid the AWS and the nearby surface mass balance stake N600 a final visit for 2021. 

On June 30, 2021, the JOSTICE AWS was set up on the lower part of Nigardsbreen. It is similar in design to the AWS used by the PROMICE program on the Greenland Ice Sheet and is capable of surviving harsh conditions in cold environments. The purpose of the AWS is to collect a wide range of meteorological and ice temperature data, which will be used as input data in numerical glacier models. Due to the high ice melt rate on Nigardsbreen during the summer season, the AWS has been visited several times to make sure that the structure is not melting out of the ice. During the middle of the summer the melt rate can be up to 10 cm per day. 

Mette Gillespie, Sigurd Nerhus and Simon de Villiers (all HVL) installing the JOSTICE AWS on Nigardsbreen, June 30, 2021 (photo: Kristine Haualand, HVL).

Winter has now come to Nigardsbreen. Today on December 6, 2021, there was c. 32 cm of new snow near the AWS.

JOSTICE AWS in new snow on Nigardsbreen, December 6, 2021 (photo: Jostein Aasen, NVE).