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Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers

  • Reference work
  • © 2011


  • Up-to-date information
  • Extensive source of literature
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Research and teaching material
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series (EESS)

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About this book

The earth’s cryosphere, which includes snow, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets, ice shelves, sea ice, river and lake ice, and permafrost, contains about 75% of the earth’s fresh water. It exists at almost all latitudes, from the tropics to the poles, and plays a vital role in controlling the global climate system. It also provides direct visible evidence of the effect of climate change, and, therefore, requires proper understanding of its complex dynamics.

This encyclopedia mainly focuses on the various aspects of snow, ice and glaciers, but also covers other cryospheric branches, and provides up-to-date information and basic concepts on relevant topics. It includes alphabetically arranged and professionally written, comprehensive and authoritative academic articles by well-known international experts in individual fields. The encyclopedia contains a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from the atmospheric processes responsible for snow formation; transformation of snow to ice and changes in their properties; classification of ice and glaciers and their worldwide distribution; glaciation and ice ages; glacier dynamics; glacier surface and subsurface characteristics; geomorphic processes and landscape formation; hydrology and sedimentary systems; permafrost degradation; hazards caused by cryospheric changes; and trends of glacier retreat on the global scale along with the impact of climate change.

This book can serve as a source of reference at the undergraduate and graduate level and help to better understand snow, ice and glaciers. It will also be an indispensable tool containing specialized literature for geologists, geographers, climatologists, hydrologists, and water resources engineers; as well as for those who are engaged in the practice of agricultural and civil engineering, earth sciences, environmental sciences and engineering, ecosystem management, and other relevant subjects.

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Table of contents (463 entries)

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From the reviews:

Weighing in at 1300 Letter-size pages of double-columned small print, and peppered every two or three pages with graphs, diagrams and photographs, often in colour, the encyclopedia is crammed with information and attractively packaged.  ...  the three editors, supported by a seven-strong editorial board of leading glaciologists, have done an impressive job of persuading a broad range of international experts to contribute entries to the volume.
(Robert Bingham, University of Aberdeen, Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 57, No. 206, 2011, pp. 1171-1172)

“Present the current state of scientific understanding of various aspects of earth’s cryosphere ––snow, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets, ice shelves, sea ice, river and lake ice, and permafrost –– and their related interdisciplinary connections under one umbrella. … the book is impressive … . a reference for all levels of undergraduates and graduates, as well as for geologists, geographers, climatologists, hydrologists, and many other relevant users. … Libraries, scholars and researchers of the subjects will certainly value the book in their reference collections.” (John Splettstoesser, The Polar Times, January 2012)

“The main articles include a number of regional surveys which range from Antarctica to Kilimanjaro. … There are articles on potential risk factors that are of immediate interest to those dealing with safety and emergency planning. There are detailed topics that will interest the specialist. … Article on the historical interpretation of glacial remains will interest historical geographers. No doubt there is much that will interest the armchair enthusiast and the mountaineer … . a worthy addition to the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences series.” (John Goodier, Reference Reviews, Vol. 26 (2), 2012)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Texas A&M University, College Station, USA

    Vijay P. Singh

  • New Delhi, India

    Pratap Singh

  • University of Dayton, Dayton, USA

    Umesh K. Haritashya

About the editors

Vijay P. Singh holds the Caroline and W. N. Lehrer Distinguished Chair in Water Engineering, and is also a Professor of Biological and  Agricultural Engineering, and Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A & M University. He has authored 16 text and reference books, edited 49 books, authored 72 book chapters, and published more than 550 refereed journal articles, 320 conference proceedings papers and 70 technical reports. He is Editor‑in‑Chief of the Water Science and Technology Book Series of Springer, the ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, and Water Science and Engineering. He has received more than 60 national and international awards and numerous honors, including the ASCE’s Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award; Distinguished Research Master Award from Louisiana State University; ASCE’s Ven Te Chow Award; AIH’s Ray K. Linsley Award; Hon. Ph.D. from University of Basilicata, Italy; Hon. D. Eng. from University of Waterloo, Canada; Hon. Member, American Water Resources Association; and Hon. Diplomate from American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He is a fellow of ASCE, AWRA, IE, IAH, ISAE, and IWRS. He is a member/fellow of 10 international science and engineering academies. His research interests include surface and groundwater hydrology, hydraulic engineering, irrigation engineering, and mathematical and stochastic modeling.

Pratap Singh has over 30 years experience in snow and glacier hydrology with an emphasis on modeling of snow and glacier melt runoff. He developed a snow melt model (SNOWMOD), which has been applied for streamflow simulation for snow- and glacier-fed rivers. He has published over 100 technical papers in international/national journals and co-authored with Professor V.P. Singh a book on Snow and Glacier Hydrology, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. He is Associate Editor for the Hydrological Sciences Journal, Wallingford, UK.

Umesh K. Haritashya is afaculty member in the Department of Geology at the University of Dayton, where he teaches courses in glacial geology, geomorphology and remote sensing. He has extensive experience of working on many mountain regions around the world. His research interests include debris cover glacier characterization, glacier dynamics, contribution of glaciers to sea level rise, impact of climate change on mountain glaciers, and glacier hydrology. He is also associated with NASA’s GLIMS project and is an editorial board member of the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering,  the Open Hydrology Journal, and Himalayan Geology. 

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