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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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
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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
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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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
13 votes
1 answer
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
5k 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 ...
15 votes
3 answers
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 ...
4 votes
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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
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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
227 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
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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 ...
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
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What is the name of this landform?

These are from the movie Insomnia. Also available in this video from 4 seconds to 8 seconds. What is the name of this landform? Are these just snow on Lapies? or These are some form of glaciated ...
4 votes
1 answer
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Why did "Glaciologist Princess Elsa" have to leave the glacier because it was too warm?

This tweet shows "Glaciologist Princess Elsa" is actually Caltech geophysics PhD student and cryoseismologist Celeste Labedz. The BBC News article What's a 'Science Princess' doing in an ice field in ...
15 votes
2 answers
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Why doesn't sea level show seasonality?

North-hemisphere ice-shelf melts on summer and grows on winter. I would expect appreciable changes on sea-level between seasons, but sea-level looks equal on winter than on summer. Why doesn't sea ...
1 vote
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Should I perform EOF analysis on an unevenly-spaced time series?

I have a dataset of sample concentrations of several ions/elements (Ca 2+, SO4 2-, K +, S, Ca, V, etc.) from an ice core which I am using to detect volcanic eruptions. The raw version of the dataset ...
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How do you interpret Oxygen Isotope changes?

In a paper I am reading, the authors note "large (5-7%) negative shifts in the oxygen isotopic composition of geologic proxy materials" (Davis 2008, pg. 102) in several regional basins. This is then ...
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1 answer
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Giant Cavern the Size of Manhattan Under Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica - how was satellite and airborne radar data combined?

This is a follow-up question to Giant Cavern the Size of Manhattan Under Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. The work is reported in an open access paper in Science: Heterogeneous retreat and ice ...
6 votes
2 answers
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How do glaciers move? Could Antarctica be separated?

Consider the example of the Larsen Ice Shelf. Ice platforms are attached to glaciers such that they prevent surrounding warm air from directly melting the glaciers. This is an important aspect of ice ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Are we at the beginning of a Heinrich Event?

Does our current weather trend properly reflect a Heinrich Event? It seems like the drastic weather swings are what I would expect but I realize that is not definitive. I don't see the term bandied ...
8 votes
1 answer
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The giant 6,000 km$^2$ iceberg A-68; will ground-truth telemetry supplement satellite tracking data?

update 2: FIRST images of A-68 iceberg not taken from a satellite in space but from the air are out. On this NASA Earth Observatory web page are areal images from NASA's Operation IceBridge taken from ...
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Glen's power-law alternatives

For glacier models, there exist alternatives to the Glen's power-law? I searched on internet, but I have not found other alternatives.
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How much does ocean cover percentage change between glacial periods? [duplicate]

Currently, oceans cover about 71% of the total area of Earth. Ice ages can cause this figure to fluctuate, by lowering the sea level and creating land bridges and other features. How much can this ...
9 votes
1 answer
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How are the thickness of ice sheets from previous glaciation periods determined?

How is the thickness/depth of ice sheets from previous glaciation periods determined? I've for instance often seen statements that the ice sheet over Scandinavia at the last glacial period maximum (i....
10 votes
1 answer
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How was the Marinoan Glaciation triggered?

The Marinoan Glaciation (a.k.a. Elatina Glaciation) was a glaciation that is thought to have occurred towards the end of the aptly-named Cryogenian period at ca. 650Ma. It is particularly known as one ...
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Quantifying long term melt record on glacier surface

I intend to create a long term melt record on a glacier surface. What are parameters required to efficiently calculate the same using satellite, weather station observations & reanalysis datasets (...
5 votes
1 answer
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Is 2,000 years from now a credible figure for return to glaciation?

I read this article, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/416786/global-warming-vs-the-next-ice-age/ "In about 300 years, all available fossil fuels may well have been consumed.Over the following ...
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2 answers
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When will glaciation resume? Has global warming delayed return to global cooling?

As far as I understand, we are currently living in the Holocene, an interglacial period of the Quaternary glaciation, i.e. the current ice age that has so far lasted 2.6 million years. The Holocene ...
2 votes
2 answers
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Estimated volume, daily or annually, of sea level rise due to melting ice?

Its a big number, difficult to estimate I assume. But is there a peer reviewed estimation (at current conditions) of the volume of daily or annual increase of water?
25 votes
5 answers
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During the "Ice Ages" or "Snowball Earth" times, where was all the energy?

We often seem to accept the idea that there were periods of time in which the entire surface of Earth was frozen, for the most part. This implies that there were periods of time in which the entire ...
19 votes
3 answers
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How do we know that we are NOT in an "Ice Age?"

Historically, the earth has had five "Ice Ages" Each of them lasted millions, tens of millions, or hundreds of millions of years. The last ice age reportedly ended perhaps 10,000 years ago. That ...
6 votes
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How much of Earth's surface would be covered by water if all ice melted? [duplicate]

I'm trying to find how much water would be on the surface of Earth and how much surface would it cover (how much land will remain) if all the ice at the North and South Poles (and everywhere else) ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Reults of the glacials and interglacials of the ice age on the soil

I have read that the Earth has undergone five ice ages, the latest one is the Quaternary glaciation. I know that in the ice age there are glacial periods and interglacial periods, and we are currently ...