Marked vertical variations of ions and oxygen isotopes were present in the snowpack at the glacier Austre Okstindbreen during the pre-melting phase in 1995 at sites between 825 m and 1,470 m above sea level. As the first meltwater percolated from the top of the pack, ions were moved to a greater depth, but the isotopic composition remained relatively unchanged. Ions continued to move downwards through the pack during the melting phase, even when there was little surface melting and no addition of liquid precipitation. The at-a-depth correlation between ionic concentrations and isotopic ratios, strong in the pre-melting phase, weakened during melting. In August, concentrations of Na+ and Mg2+ ions in the residual pack were low and vertical variations were slight; 18O enrichment had occurred. The difference of the time at which melting of the snowpack starts at different altitudes influences the input of ions and isotopes to the underlying glacier.
- Received September 25, 1996.
- Revision received March 17, 1997.
- Accepted July 16, 1997.
- © IWA Publishing 1998