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  • Station or cluster: CryoNet Station
  • Type: Reference
  • Attribute(s):
  • WMO ID (if any):
  • Shape: polygon
  • Latitude, longitude: 45.15, 6.1667
  • Altitude and/or range (m): 2700 -3460
  • Landscape: Coastal
  • Year established: 1957
  • Year-round? Yes
  • Operations contact: Delphine Six
  • Science contact: Christian Vincent
  • Data contact: Delphine Six
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Saint-Sorlin Glacier
Reference CryoNet Station Information

Saint-Sorlin glacier is a temperate glacier located in the French Alps (Grandes Rousses area). This glacier covers an area of 3 km² and an altitude range from 2700 m to 3400 m on a North aspect. Roughly 30 sites, distributed both in ablation and accumulation area, are measured to determine mass balance. The entire surface is free debris cover. An automatic weather station is located on the moraine (at an altitude of 2700 m), close to the glacier (less than 200 m).
Annual mass balances are continuously measured every year since 1957, winter and summer mass balances since 1994. Snout position is determined since 1957. Thickness variation are continuously determined since 1957 along 6 transverse profiles. Ice velocities are also determined along these profiles since 1957.

Other Networks to Which This CryoNet Station Belongs

Measurement Methods Used

Data Information


Six, D., Vincent C.2014. Sensitivity of mass balance and equilibrium-line altitude to climate change in the French Alps, Journal of Glaciology, 60(223)

Hingray, B., Dedieu, J.P., Lebel, T., Obled, C., Sicart, J.E., Six, D., et al. (2012). Glaciological and hydrometeorological observations in mountainous areas: Some current issues and perspectives. Houille Blanche-Revue Internationale de l’Eau, (2), 5–11.

Six, D., Wagnon, P., Sicart, J. E., & Vincent, C. (2009). Meteorological controls on snow and ice ablation for two contrasting months on Glacier de Saint-Sorlin, France. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 66–72.

Vincent, C., & Six, D. (2013). Relative contribution of solar radiation and temperature in enhanced temperature-index melt models from a case study at Glacier de Saint-Sorlin, France. Annals Of Glaciology, 54(63), 11–17.


The measurements made at Saint-Sorlin Glacier are listed in the following tables. (Note: If End Year is blank, measurements are ongoing.)

Cryosphere Measurements

Element Variable Start Year End Year Frequency
GlacierAnnual mass balance1957Continuous
GlacierWinter mass balance1994Continuous
GlacierSurface topography1952Fragmented

Atmosphere Measurements

Element Variable Start Year End Year Frequency
MetAir temperature2005Continuous
MetHumidity/vapour pressure2005Continuous
MetWind speed and direction2005Continuous
RadiationDownwelling shortwave2005Continuous
RadiationUpwelling shortwave2005Continuous
RadiationDownwelling longwave2005Continuous
RadiationUpwelling longwave2005Continuous

Measurement Notes and Other Measurements

Category Description or List
GlacierSnout position : annually since 1957

Last updated: 31 May 2017