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Glossary of ESC Alpine Glaciers and Glacial Processes

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Types of glaciers
Ice sheet:Antarctica, Greenland
Valley glacier:Himalayas
Glacial Environment Factors
Precipitation, Temperature, Altitude, Latitude, Relief, Aspect, Ocean Distance
Accumulation
All processes that add snow and ice to the glacier.
Ablation
All the processes that remove snow and ice from the glacier.
Glacial Erosion types
Abrasion, Debris Entrainment, Fracture of Fresh Rock, Glacial Plucking, Meltwater Erosion
Till
Sediment deposited directly by the ice.
Outwash
Sediment deposited by ice meltwater.
Large Scale Erosional Features
Cirque, Arete, Horn, Col, Truncated Spur, Glacial Trough, Haning Valleys, Paternoster lakes.
Ice Marginal Forms
Terminal Moraine, Lateral Moraine, Recessional Moraine
Subglacial Form
Ground Moraine
Stagnant Ice Form
Hummocky Terrain
Glaciofluvial Form
Outwash plain
Arete
a steep sided, sharp edged bedrock ridge formed by glaciers eroding away on opposite sides of the ridge
Horn
a pyramid shaped mountain peak formed by several glaciers eroding different sides of the same mountain.
Tarn
a glacier lake basin produced by scouring.
Cirque
an amphitheater-shaped bedrock feature created as glaciers scour back into the mountain.
Cirque Glacier
a smaller glacier confined to a cirque that does not extend down valley from the cirque.
Valley Glacier
an alpine glacier flowing in a valley.
Glacier Trough
erosion by an alpine glacier widening and deepening to form a glacially eroded valley.
Paternoster Lakes
a series of lakes in a glacial valley that are connected by a stream.
Moraines
formed from rock debris deposited by glaciers.
Positive Mass Balance
Where Accumulations are greater than Ablations.
an increase in a glacier's thickness and by increasing its total area.
Negative Mass Balance
Where ablations are greater than total accumulations.
results in a thinning of the glacier, a reduction of area and a decrease in volume through a retreat of the glacier terminus in an up-valley direction
Glacier Year
begins with the first snowfall accumulation of the fall winter season and ends after the summer ablations have ceased.
Glacier Mass Balance
describes the relationship between annual net accumulations of snow and ice and annual net ablations.

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