Environmental Studies, The Blue Planet, Chapter 9
Ablation
The loss of volume or mass of a glacier.
Accumulation
What it says on the tin.
Cirque
A bowl-shaped depression. Produced by glacial erosion.
Cryosphere
The perennially frozen earth.
Equilibrium Line
The boundary between the accumulation line and the ablation line. Where the net mass loss = gain.
Fjord
The drowned seaward end of a glacier-carved bedrock trough on a high-altitude sea coast.
Glacier
Persistent body of ice. Shows downward movement under gravity.
Glacier Ice
The ice forming a glacier by the accumulation, compression, and recrystallization of snow.
Ice
Frozen water.
Ice Cap
Like a hat of ice on mountains.
Ice Sheet
Sheets of glacial ice that cover continental land masses.
Ice Shelf
Sea ice that forms off the coasts of Antarctica.
Polar Glacier
A high-latitude or high-altitude glacier, air is freezing, no melting occurs.
Snow
Frozen precipitation.
Snow Line
The boundary of perennial snow.
Temperate Glacier
A warm glacier that forms in a temperate zone. Ice co-exists in equilibrium with water.
Terminus
The front of a glacier.
Bed
Where I’d like to be.

The rock or sediment on which the glacier rests.

Calving
The progressive breaking off of icebergs from the front of a glacier that terminates in deep water.
Crevasse
A deep gaping fissure in the upper surface of a glacier. Generally less than 50m deep.
Glaciation
The period during which the earth is cold enough for glaciers to form. AKA ice ages, glacial periods/stages/epochs.
Interglacials
The period between glaciations when ice sheets retreat and sea levels rise.
Moraine
Ridge-like accumulations of sediment formed by glacial advancement. Like the wake from a moving boat, only solid.
Periglacial Zones
Land areas beyond the limit of glaciers where low temperatures and frost actions are important factors on influencing the landscape.
Surge
An unusual behavior marked by the rapid movement and dramatic changes of size and form of a glacier.
Till
Basal debris that is plastered onto the ground as till (unsorted sediment).
Loess
A wind-blown or aeolian sediment derived from rock flower and is generally indicative of deposition during a long cold climate.
Permafrost
Permanently-frozen ground.
Sea Ice
Frozen seawater. Floats on polar oceans. Consists of freshwater.
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