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Benchmark Glacier

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

Synonyms

Reference glacier

Definition

A benchmark glacier is a glacier on which detailed direct measurements of seasonal glacier mass changes, meteorological environment, and streamflow variations are collected for an indefinite period, and which should be representative for a particular region.

Benchmark glacier, reference glacier and glacier monitoring

The term “benchmark glacier” was established as part of the monitoring strategy of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) (Fountain et al., 1997). The similar term “reference glacier” is in the monitoring strategy of the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G, http://www.fao.org/gtos/gt-netGLA.html) a glacier with a long-term, continuous, and continuing programme of mass balance observations. The benchmark and reference glacier concepts are similar; however, the reference glacier does not claim to be representative for other glaciers in a mountain range. The majority of benchmark glaciers were established during the 1960s...

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Benchmark Glacier, Figure 1

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Bolch, T. (2011). Benchmark Glacier. In: Singh, V.P., Singh, P., Haritashya, U.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2642-2_43

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