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Questions tagged [glaciology]

The [glaciology] tag concerns all forms of snow and ice on Earth and in space. And the marks left by ancient glaciers.

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6 votes
2 answers
329 views

What caused the Carbon Dioxide Variations observed in the 800,000-year polar ice record?

I have seen several graphs showing the prehistoric temperatures and CO2 concentrations derived from ice-core data. My understanding is that CO2 and temperature correlate. I assume that Milankovich ...
6 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can ice caps reform if they disappear?

Excuse my ignorance. I'm under the impression that there are various types of ice at the poles, but I don't know the difference or the significance of each type, so, in terms of whatever is actually ...
6 votes
3 answers
298 views

What did the water's edge look like on the Pacific coast of the Laurentide Ice Sheet?

I have seen news reports saying that in recent years many more scientists think that humans first arrived in the Americas by boat, along coast of Alaska and Canada (before they were able to come ...
3 votes
1 answer
59 views

Difference between downwasting and dynamic glacier response to climate change

The acceleration of glacier shrinkage after 1985 indicates a transition toward rapid down- wasting rather than a dynamic glacier response to a changed climate I am unable to distinguish between ...
8 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is PhD the only way to study glaciers?

I am wondering if there are alternative ways to study glaciers apart from obtaining a PhD. I would be glad to build a career around glaciology, however, with the issues in regards to my PhD, a new Ph....
3 votes
2 answers
865 views

Was there once a glacier over Starcke national park in Queensland Australia?

I was randomly exploring Google Earth when I came across some sort of rock formation in northern Australia. The location of the rock formation with respect to Australia is shown below. It is in or ...
2 votes
1 answer
65 views

Understanding Temperature's Effect on Glen's Flow Rate Factor A = A(T) and Why we Take A = Constant

I'm trying to better understand why I see so many people pick a fixed value of $A$ in Glen's Flow law when doing glacier modeling. I found that using a simple Arrhenius relationship we get the formula ...
1 vote
0 answers
15 views

What determines and confirms sensitivity of glaciers to climate change/ climate forcing?

Consider two groups of glaciers, say Group A and Group B. For simplicity, let's consider the group to fall in one size class (say 1-5 sq km), both located in the same kind of climate. We DO NOT know ...
3 votes
1 answer
77 views

Why would glaciers change its size? How to differenciate change in glacier size as a response to climate and its natural dynamics?

Glaciers flow as they deform under its own weight. But they also advance or retreat accordingly to the various climate factors. How would I differentiate a glacier that is in motion flowing down the ...
4 votes
0 answers
43 views

How saline were the earth's oceans during the Last Glacial Maximum?

According to Wikipedia sea water is 34.7 parts per thousand salt. Between evaporation and precipitation it seems like this amount is kept largely in equilibrium but, during the last glacial maximum, a ...
1 vote
0 answers
9 views

More about hypsometry for large glaciers

I am currently reading a paper which says The elevation ranges between 1700 and 2200 m show smaller relative surface changes than the elevation ranges between 2200 and 3300 m. This has to be related ...
2 votes
0 answers
24 views

Would it make sense to compare glacier fluctuations in New Zealand with Alps or Canadian rockies?

If I want to draw parallels between the glacier fluctuations between different glaciers, (considering similar size class, here, small) at a) New Zealand b) European Alps c) Canadian Rocky Mountains ...
6 votes
1 answer
99 views

How to judge a good journal for glaciology?

I am trying to find articles/papers related to glacier fluctuations since LIA, how do i quickly analyze if the journal is good? Is impact factor sufficient to judge the journal quickly, if so, what ...
1 vote
1 answer
163 views

What is 0 degree isotherm and how to calculate it?

I want to look at different areas of alpine glaciers and understand the position of 0 degree isotherm to do a comparative climate analysis. Given the mean annual air temperature and altitude, how do i ...
2 votes
1 answer
88 views

How to calculate main aspect of a glacier?

Aspect is based upon the direction of flowline axis of the glacier. is flowline axis same as ice flow direction? What is aspect of a mountain (say in the tropics). Would a glacier have aspect ...
4 votes
1 answer
234 views

How can sublimation of glacial ice cause positive mass balance?

I am trying to understand how the sublimation process can cause a positive mass balance in general, intuitively as highlighted in the text taken from W. S. B. Paterson,The Physics of Glaciers: 3rd ...
1 vote
0 answers
20 views

Is This Portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide a Good Representation of Parallel Sided Slab on Slope Glacier

I'm trying to find data that I can use to compare to the graph in Figure 6.2 on page 88 of this source which shows temperature (found from solving the parallel sided slab on slope problem) vs height ...
6 votes
1 answer
85 views

Is There Data Describing the Velocity of Different Heights of a Glacier?

I'm looking for glacier data that provides the velocity at different heights within a glacier. So, ideally I would like data that includes not only velocity at the surface, but also velocity at at ...
2 votes
1 answer
47 views

Understanding Graphs for Velocity and Temperature Solutions for Parallel Sided Slab on Slope Problem

I'm trying to recreate the graphs in Figure 6.2 from this source (page 88). They get these plots by using the following solutions for velocity and temperature (both obtained from solving the basic ...
3 votes
1 answer
116 views

Obtaining ELA from AAR method

I am trying to understand how to obtain ELA using Accumulation area ratio method. My understanding is: Accumulation area/ ablation area is assumed to be constant. Empirical data of long term annual ...
5 votes
0 answers
99 views

Simulating snow melt inundation in urban areas

I am trying to understand how melt water from snow in urban setting gets routed. I understand that for routing rain water, one can create grid and then determine the flow direction for each cell by ...
2 votes
0 answers
87 views

Which depiction of the world map, with focus on dry land vs ocean do you think is more accurate? Scotese's or deeptimemaps?

Special attention paid particularly to the Arctic where the Hudson and Berent's sea are ocean in the above they are ocean, below they are land. In other places, Scotese's seems more accurate to me but ...
7 votes
1 answer
7k views

If ALL the ice melted, what percentage of the Earth's surface would be water?

At the present time, about 70% of the earth's surface is liquid water (perhaps that includes floating ice around Antarctica, and the Arctic Ice cap). What percentage of the Earth's surface would be ...
1 vote
1 answer
106 views

How do melting glaciers dry rivers?

How do melting glaciers dry rivers? Unless there's less precipitation during winter, I don't see how it affects the volume of water of the rivers that glaciers feed into. If it's cold, water ...
7 votes
1 answer
321 views

How old are Chile's fjords?

Do we have any knowledge about the age of Chile's fjords, more specifically, those found near the Northern Patagonian Ice Field? Is it reasonable to conclude that they were formed in Quaternary given ...
2 votes
0 answers
65 views

How is sea level rise due to a glacier melting calculated?

There's news going around (e.g. link) that the melting of the Thwaites glacier may cause sea levels to rise by 10 feet. Is that true and not exaggerated? How is the calculation made? They said the ...
13 votes
1 answer
303 views

Glaciology: odd pattern of smooth and ribbed chunks of ice in Antartica

At -69.184611, -68.124276 (just east of the Bugge Islands) there is a triangular ice shelf. On satellite images (as seen on Google/Bing maps) you can see it is riddled with --for lack of a clearer ...
3 votes
1 answer
60 views

What (if any) "in-situ instrumentation" is on the Brunt Ice Shelf that will detect its splitting and breaking away?

The BBC News article Antarctic: No role for climate in Halley iceberg splitting says: With no-one on the ice surface, notice of any breakaway will have to come from automated in-situ instrumentation ...
5 votes
1 answer
37 views

I am searching for a word to describe the area of a glacial valley where the sides transition into the floor?

I have been tasked with proof reading before publication a Russian paper that has been translated into basic English and am searching for a word to describe the area of a glacial valley where the ...
4 votes
1 answer
71 views

Internal rocks in glaciers

I am very new to the study of the cryosphere. I was looking at the GLIMS inventory for glaciers and observed red patches as shown below which the legend mentions the red patches as internal rocks. In ...
4 votes
1 answer
141 views

Remote sensing of glaciers, season for data collection

I would like to understand to view the health of a glacier using optical or SAR data. What season would be the best for observation? Is the ablation season better or the accumulation season? More ...
22 votes
6 answers
6k views

How does global-warming-triggered ice melting cause global sea levels to rise?

Apologies for asking a silly question like this. But I want to offer some points which I could not counter, as follows: Ice is less dense than water, that is why it floats. For the same unit mass, if ...
14 votes
3 answers
6k views

How will sea level rise be distributed across the globe?

Sea level rise from melting glaciers will not be uniformly distributed across the globe. However, it isn't clear to me what places will have the most and least extreme changes in sea level rise. I ...
14 votes
1 answer
325 views

Where does the biggest land-based ice cap reside?

I'm thinking biggest in volume, regarding which area of the planet will contribute more to a raising in sea level - were the ice in those regions to melt. I can basically think of two candidates, ...
8 votes
1 answer
156 views

What is more important in Antarctica calving or basal melting of the ice shelves?

Ice shelves are present along 75% of Antarctica coast and cover over 1.5 million km2. The two main processes causing mass loss of the ice shelf are basal melting and calving. Which of the two ...
10 votes
4 answers
425 views

Considering how old the Antarctic ice cover is, why isn't it much thicker?

The Wikipedia article on the subject of the "Antarctic ice sheet" says that: The icing of Antarctica began in the middle Eocene about 45.5 million years ago and escalated during the Eocene–...
1 vote
1 answer
138 views

Is "Chasm One" the really the name of this feature on the Brunt Ice Shelf?

The BBC News article Antarctic: No role for climate in Halley iceberg splitting says: With no-one on the ice surface, notice of any breakaway will have to come from automated in-situ ...
11 votes
2 answers
5k views

How could this pyramidal Mountain have been formed?

How could this pyramidal peak have been formed in Antarctica? Little is known about it as far as I know but what is known is that its miles away from any existing plate boundary and its shape is also ...
1 vote
0 answers
83 views

If its ice sheet were removed under modern atmospheric conditions, what climatic and ice-sheet equilibrium would be re-established over Antarctica?

Note the use of the term removed instead of melted—as in, any excess water is moved to where it can't cause trouble, either through the use of advanced technology (space elevators, et cetera) or for ...
10 votes
3 answers
15k views

Esker vs. Kame vs. Drumlin - what's the difference?

In researching glacial features, I came across the terms esker, drumlin, and kame. I know that they are all depositional features that are shaped like a mound. My impression is that an esker is longer ...
5 votes
0 answers
66 views

Hypothetically, in the near future, could gas hydrate pingos erupt?

Could gas hydrate pingos erupt? If so, how quickly? And how much CH4 could they release? I'm sorry if the questions sounds silly. I'm new here and I don't know much about gas hydrates and oceanography....
10 votes
4 answers
263 views

What does "glacier collapse" mean?

CNN's Mont Blanc glacier could collapse at any moment, Italy warns says: A staggering 250,000 cubic meters (8.8 million cubic feet) of ice could break away from the Planpincieux glacier on the ...
2 votes
1 answer
322 views

How many extreme shifts in climate has Earth gone through in its existence?

As the Earth formed, it went through cycles of essentially hotter and colder periods. Extremely volcanic times and ice ages, in feedback loops contributing to one another. CO2 swinging from high to ...
2 votes
1 answer
120 views

Is there a mountain-shaped iceberg?

From Iceberg - Wikipedia, the closest mountain-shaped iceberg seem to be dome iceberg: Different shapes of icebergs. 1: Tabular; 2: Wedge; 3: Dome; 4: Drydock; 5: Pinnacled; 6: Blocky. However, dome ...
5 votes
0 answers
90 views

Dynamic of glacier retreat? (here: in Greenland)

During the last years I have taken many pictures of obviously retreating glaciers and empty moraines in Greenland - just like this one. Looks devastating, actually. In my understanding, the current ...
1 vote
0 answers
158 views

How would I simulate the effects of the Antarctic ice sheet being deleted on Earth's climate?

This is a follow-up to my question If its ice sheet were removed under modern atmospheric conditions, what climatic and ice-sheet equilibrium would be re-established over Antarctica?. As it has ...
2 votes
1 answer
134 views

What behaviour does an ice sheet exhibit in crossing a cliff?

I've not come up against clear explanations when trying to think about a situation where an ice sheet is advancing and comes up against a cliff. What happens next? How does the ice sheet cross the ...
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

What would it be like to live in an ice age?

If you were born in the most recent ice age, how different would your life be compared to how you live it today? Furthermore, if humans currently lived in an ice age, how would it affect life today?
29 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why does glacier ice look blue?

The color of the ice observed in glaciers, icebergs and crevasses is often blue. However, ice cubes and industrial ice blocks are perfectly transparent or white if not. So. Why does glacier ice look ...