glaciers

calve

break off from a larger ice shelf or ice sheet into the water.

branched-valley glacier

glacier that has one or more tributary glaciers that flow into it; distinguished from a simple valley glacier that has only a single tributary glacier.
In this photograph from 1969, small glaciers flow into the larger Columbia Glacier from mountain valleys on both sides. Columbia Glacier flows out of the Chugach Mountains into Columbia Bay, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of the United States Geological Survey. Archived at the World Data Center for...
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bottom bergs

icebergs that originate from near the bottom of a glacier; the color is usually black from trapped rock material or dark blue because of old, coarse, bubble-free ice; they sit low in the water due to the weight of the embedded rocks.

bergy bit

large chunk of glacier ice (a very small iceberg) floating in the sea; bergy bits are usually less than 5 meters (15 feet) in size and are generally spawned from disintegrating icebergs.

bergschrund

crevasse that separates flowing ice from stagnant ice at the head of a glacier.
Explorer on Skillet Glacier in 1936. Bergschrund is visible as the dark band of ice in the background.
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basal sliding

the sliding of a glacier over bedrock.
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band ogives

alternate bands of light and dark on a glacier; usually found below steep narrow icefalls and thought to be the result of different flow and ablation rates between summer and winter.
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arete

sharp, narrow ridge formed as a result of glacial erosion from both sides.
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ablation

(1) combined processes (such as sublimation, fusion or melting, evaporation) which remove snow or ice from the surface of a glacier or from a snow-field; also used to express the quantity lost by these processes (2) reduction of the water equivalent of a snow cover by melting, evaporation, wind and avalanches.

alpine layers

annual accumulations of snow and dust on a glacier.
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