Estimating surface melt and runoff on the Antarctic Peninsula using ERA-Interim reanalysis data.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Juliana Costi
  • Jorge Arigony-Neto
  • Matthias Braun
  • Bulat Mavlyudov
  • Aline Barbosa Da Silva
  • Wiliam Correa Marques
  • Jefferson Cardia Simoes

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences


Using the positive degree days approach and ERA-Interim reanalysis downscaled data, the researchers ran a melt model spatially gridded at 200 m with annual temporal resolution over 32 years and estimated surface melt (SM) and surface runoff (SR) on the Antarctic Peninsula. The model was calibrated and validated independently by field measurements. The maximum surface melt values occurred in 1985 (129 Gt), and the maximum runoff (40 Gt) occurred in 1993; both parameters showed minimum values in 2014 (26 Gt and 0.37 Gt, respectively). No significant trends are present. Two widespread positive anomalies occurred in 1993 and 2006. The results reveal that the floating ice areas produce an average of 68% of runoff and 61% of surface melt, emphasizing their importance to coastal hydrography. During the seven years preceding the Larsen B collapse, surface melt retention was higher than 95% on floating ice areas, and negative runoff anomalies persisted. Excluding the islands, the vicinity of this former ice shelf exhibits the highest specific surface melt and runoff across the studied area.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-393
Number of pages15
JournalAntarctic Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • positive degree-days, glacier and snow surface melting, meltwater