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Glacier Surging

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Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers

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

Synonyms

Glacier surge dynamics; Glacier surge processes, morphology, and landforms; Surge-type behaviour; Surging

Definition

Glacier surging is a quasiperiodic oscillation between long periods (tens to hundreds of years) of slow flow, called quiescent phase or quiescence, and shorter periods of typically 10–1000 times faster flow, called surge phase, active phase, or surge. During a surge, the flow velocity increases abruptly, and fast flow is maintained over some time (1–15 years) and over a wide area. The switch from slow to fast flow is an internally triggered ice flow instability, reflecting sudden changes within the glacier system. These changes can sometimes be associated with external factors (e.g., weather, climate, and earthquakes), but only if the glacier system is already close to a critical threshold. During a surge, a large volume of ice is transported from the reservoir zone (upper part) to the receiving zone(lower part) of the glacier, which sometimes results in a...

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Correspondence to Hester Jiskoot .

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Jiskoot, H. (2011). Glacier Surging. 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_559

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