When scientists talk about the cryosphere, they mean the places on Earth where water is in its solid form, frozen into ice or snow. Read more ...
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large ice lobe spread out over surrounding terrain, associated with the terminus of a large mountain valley glacier.
The massive lobe of Malaspina Glacier in Alaska is clearly visible in this photograph taken from a Space Shuttle flight in 1989. Agassiz Glacier is the smaller glacier to the left. The Malaspina Glacier is one of the most famous examples of this type of glacier, and is the largest piedmont glacier in the world. Spilling out of the Seward Ice Field (visible near the top of the photograph), it covers over 5,000 square kilometers as it spreads across the coastal plain. (Photo courtesy of SPACE.com and NASA.)
an eskimo term for a perennial frost mound consisting of a core of massive ice with soil and vegetation cover; the size can range from a few meters to tens of meters, in both diameter and height; can be found in continuous and discontinuous permafrost zones.
in polar regions, the portion of the year when the sun is continuously in the sky; its length changes from twenty hours at the arctic/antarctic circle (latitude 66 degrees, 33 minutes N or S) to 186 days at the north and south poles.
a glacier entirely below freezing, except possibly for a thin layer of melt near the surface during summer or near the bed; polar glaciers are found only in polar regions of the globe or at high altitudes.
a high-latitude region covered in ice; not a true ice cap, which are less than 50,000 square kilometers (12.4 million acres) and are always over land; more like an ice sheet; also called polar ice sheet.
in polar regions, the portion of the year when the sun does not rise above the horizon; its length changes from twenty hours at the arctic/antarctic circle (latitude 66 degrees, 33 minutes N or S) to 179 days at the North and South Poles.
regions around the North and South Poles, north of the Arctic, or south of the Antarctic Circles, respectively; characterized by polar climate, very cold temperatures, heavy glaciation, and dramatic variations in daylight hours (24 hrs darkness in winter, 24 hrs daylight in summer).
literally means many angled; polygons are closed, multi-sided, roughly equidimensional shapes, bounded by more or less straight sides; some of the sides may be irregular; in cryospheric science, it refers to patterned ground formations.
(1) any of the forms of water particles, whether liquid or solid, that fall from the atmosphere and reach the ground; includes: rain, drizzle, snow, snow grains, snow pellets, diamond dust, hail, and ice pellets; see also acid precipitation (2) accumulated depth of rain, drizzle and the melted water content of frozen forms of precipitation.
a type of stress characterized by uniformity in all directions; in dynamics, it is that part of the stress tensor that is independent of viscosity and depends only upon the molecular motion appropriate to the local temperature and density; it is the negative of the mean of the three normal stresses, and is, therefore, a scalar quantity expressed in units of force per unit area; in meteorology, commonly used for atmospheric pressure.