the lowest end of a glacier, also called the glacier toe or glacier snout.
Glacier at the head of Canon Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada

temperature-gradient metamorphism

snow metamorphism that occurs when there are strong differences in temperature between the bottom and top of a snow layer.


a small mountain lake or pool.

surging glacier

a glacier that experiences a dramatic increase in flow rate, 10 to 100 times faster than its normal rate; usually surge events last less than one year and occur periodically, between 15 and 100 years.
In 1941, Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier surged, also knocking over trees during its advance. (Photo courtesy of the World Data Center for Glaciology, Boulder, CO. Photo probably taken by W.O. Field.)


the transition of a substance from the solid phase directly to the vapor phase, or vice versa, without passing through an intermediate liquid phase.

sun cups

ablation hollows that develop during intense sunshine.

subpolar glacier

a glacier whose temperature regime is between polar and temperate; usually predominantly below freezing, but could experience extensive summer melt.

strand crack

a fissure at the junction between an inland ice sheet, ice piedmont or ice rise and an ice shelf, the latter being subject to the rise and fall of the tide.

splay crevasse

a crevasse pattern that forms where ice slowly spreads out sideways; commonly found near a glacier terminus.

snowdrift glacier

a semipermanent mass of firn formed by drifted snow behind obstructions or in the ground; also called a catchment glacier or a drift glacier.


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