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  • Station or cluster: CryoNet Station
  • Type: Reference
  • Attribute(s):
  • WMO ID (if any):
  • Shape: polygon
  • Latitude, longitude: 45.9333, 7.00
  • Altitude and/or range (m): 1600 -3600
  • Landscape: Coastal
  • Year established: 1975
  • Year-round? Yes
  • Operations contact: Delphine Six
  • Science contact: Christian Vincent
  • Data contact: Delphine Six
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Argentiere Glacier
Reference CryoNet Station Information

Argentiere glacier is a temperate glacier located in the French Alps (Mont Blanc area). This glacier covers an area of 19 km² and an altitude range from 1600 m to 3600 m on a North aspect. Tributary glaciers oriented East and South are also measured in this catchment area. Roughly 40 sites, distributed both in ablation and accumulation area, are measured to determine mass balance. The surface is free debris cover except in the lower part (lower than 2000 m a.s.l). An automatic weather station is located on the moraine (at an altitude of 2400 m), close to the glacier (less than 200 m).
Annual mass balances are continuously measured every year since 1975, winter and summer mass balances since 1994. Snout position is determined since 1883 but data are fragmented between 1883 and 1980. Thickness variation are continously determined since 1969 along 5 transverse profils. Ice velocities are also determined along these profils since 1975.

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.

Vincent, C., Soruco, A., Six, D., & Le Meur, E. (2009). Glacier thickening and decay analysis from 50 years of glaciological observations performed on Glacier d'Argentiere, Mont Blanc area, France. Ann. Glaciol., 50(50), 73–79.


The measurements made at Argentiere 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 balance1975Continuous
GlacierWinter mass balance1994Continuous
GlacierSurface topography1905Sporadic

Atmosphere Measurements

Element Variable Start Year End Year Frequency
MetAir temperature2006Continuous
MetHumidity/vapour pressure2006Continuous
MetWind speed and direction2006Continuous
RadiationDownwelling shortwave2006Continuous
RadiationUpwelling shortwave2006Continuous
RadiationDownwelling longwave2006Continuous
RadiationUpwelling longwave2006Continuous

Measurement Notes and Other Measurements

Category Description or List
GlacierSnout position : since 1883, fragmented data (continous since 1980)

Last updated: 31 May 2017