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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30
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3answers
6k views

How would an icicle “grow” upwards?

The other day a friend of my dad's showed him a picture of an icicle that appeared to be "growing" upwards out of a crack in a sidewalk. There were no roofs, overhangs or vehicles parked near by... It ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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3answers
696 views

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 ...
18
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1answer
255 views

What percent of volcanoes are glaciated?

I have not been able to find an estimate of how many known volcanoes host perennial ice masses, and it would be very useful to me. Does anyone know of any attempts to do this?
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Is this 70km crack in an ice shelf of Antarctica remarkable, or a regular occurrence?

I've just seen the LiveScience article 70-Mile-Long Crack Opens Up in Anatarctica. I'm not sure if the title is a bit sensational or not, the crack is in an ice shelf, not the continent of Antarctica. ...
18
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1answer
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Can glaciers be less than 30m thick?

The wikipedia page on Ice-sheet dynamics claims that: Ice will not flow until it has reached a thickness of 30 meters (98 ft) And this geography website claims that To be called a glacier, a ...
17
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1answer
386 views

Can earthquakes contribute to Antarctic ice loss?

I read about the earthquake that took place in Japan in 2011, led to some small calving events in Antarctica (link). So, it makes me think if there is a big earthquake near or in Antarctica, can it ...
17
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2answers
344 views

How strong can a glacial icequake get?

While researching Antarctic geology, I came across the term 'icequake' in the abstract to the article Seismicity within a propagating ice shelf rift: The relationship between icequake locations and ...
15
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1answer
2k 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 ...
14
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
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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 ...
13
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2answers
610 views

Why do those glaciers form on the lee side of the mountains?

In the Scandinavian mountains, there is a strong effect of orographic precipitation. The west receives far more precipitation than the east. This difference can be a factor 5 or more in some places. ...
13
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438 views

Is Antarctic sea ice at record levels?

Every time I read a news article about Antarctic ice extent, I don't seem to have a clear answer as to what the deal is. If I look at the February sea ice extent from the National Snow and Ice Data ...
13
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1answer
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Converting glacier volume to mass: what ice density to use?

The density of ice is 0.9167 g/cm3 at 0 °C (under atmospheric pressure). I know of two factors that may influence this (are there more?) Pressure The glaciology faq (Common Questions and Myths ...
12
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1answer
753 views

What are the non-anthropogenic causes of The Netherlands' low elevation?

A large area of The Netherlands is below sea level. There are two non-anthropogenic reasons that I can think of: Compaction of delta sediments that lie below the country, A side effect of the ...
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4answers
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When will the Final Ice Age happen?

As the Sun's luminosity slowly rises, the Earth's surface temperature will climb. Will Earth ever be too warm to have any more glacial periods? If so, when will that be? Edit: The existing answer ...
12
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1answer
838 views

Is there a name for this type of ice crystal?

Recently, I took the following picture: I have read about this phenomenon and I think it is caused by water vapour that is pressed out of the ground and then freezes due to low temperature. However, ...
12
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1answer
272 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 to candidates, ...
12
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1answer
108 views

What geophysical knowledge have we learned by the construction of IceCube?

The IceCube is a particle detector at the South Pole that records neutrino interactions. It has lead to many fascinating new discoveries in the field of astrophysics (e.g., 1, 2) and it was awarded "...
12
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1answer
701 views

For what percentage of the earth's history has there been permanent ice?

Wikipedia comments here that "Permanent ice is actually a rare phenomenon in the history of the Earth, occurring only during the 20% of the time that the planet is under an icehouse effect." A "...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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How long to melt all the polar ice?

The answers to this question say that the sea level will rise 66m if all the polar ice, etc, melts. How long will this take? Transporting incredible amounts of heat energy to the poles and injecting ...
11
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1answer
242 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Will increased precipitation in Antarctica prevent sea level rise?

It has been suggested that global warming will lead to increased precipitation in parts of Antarctica. This would sequester water in the ice sheet, preventing sea level rise. However, the slope (and ...
10
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1answer
469 views

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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1answer
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Siberia (Beringia) during last glacier period

Today, Northern Russia is considered quite cold. It is not populated because it has low biological productivity: low light and cold. It can be below -50 at winter and 10 C at summer peak. It is low ...
9
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4answers
271 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–...
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1answer
139 views

Why are some theories as to the cause of glacation less popular among the scientific community?

There are a few theories as to the causes of glaciation. There's the Milankovitch Theory, which says that there are cyclical changes in Earth's orbit and in the tilt of Earth's axis that occur over ...
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1answer
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How do we use oxygen isotopes as temperature proxy?

As far as I know scientists use oxygen isotope 16 to 18 ratio in air trapped in glaciers (or in old foraminiftera shells) as proxy for temperature in the past. I know that $\ce{^18O}$ is heavier, and ...
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1answer
117 views

Traits of invaded ecosystems? Are my compost worms a threat to New York?

I was shocked to learn that there were few native worms in the glaciated portion of North America. I use worms indoors to compost paper and kitchen scraps. I don't think there is much chance of ...
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Any other fumarolic ice caves in the literature? [closed]

I study the fumarolic ice caves of Erebus Volcano, and am looking for published research on similar sorts of caves. My criteria for a "fumarolic ice cave" are that it must be: A gas-filled void space ...
8
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1answer
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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?
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1answer
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Why do fjords have sills?

I have read about some of the geologic processes that are related to the formation of fjords. Is the presence of sills in fjords related to the deposition of glacial moraine?
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1answer
447 views

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....
8
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1answer
317 views

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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1answer
605 views

What evidence is there linking melting ice caps and changes in tectonic movement?

Reading one of my other questions, How much would the Greenland landmass isostatic rebound contribute to long term climate change?, a subsequent question is what, if any, effect the isostatic rebound ...
7
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688 views

Oxygen isotope ratio and Glaciers

The question is basically: During the Cretaceous there were no continental ice sheets. The ratio of O-18/O-16 in sea water was: a) Higher than today b) Lower than today The answer ...
7
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2answers
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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 ...
7
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2answers
743 views

How do perennial rivers in high alpine areas maintain year round flows?

We have several perennial rivers in my country that originate out of high altitude alpine glacier melt. I can understand snow or glacier melting in the summer to increase the flows but it is observed ...
7
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1answer
99 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 ...
7
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1answer
187 views

Need help understanding this satellite image of Larson C ice shelf

The false color image below shows synthetic aperture radar imaging from ESA's Sentinel-1 satellite. The map from the 20-Jan-2017 BBC article Larsen ice crack continues to open up illustrates the same ...
7
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1answer
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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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...