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valley glacier

a mountain glacier whose flow is confined by valley walls.


instrument used to measure wind direction; also called wind vane.

vapor pressure

the pressure exerted by water vapor molecules in a given volume of air.

vein ice

a comprehensive term for ice of any origin occupying cracks in permafrost.

very close pack ice

pack ice in which the floes are tightly packed but not frozen together, with very little, if any, sea water visible; ice cover practically 10/10th.

very open pack ice

pack ice composed of loose, widely spaced floes; ice cover 1/10th to 3/10th.


precipitation that evaporates before reaching the ground.


a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow; can be thought of as a measure of fluid friction.


the greatest distance that prominent objects can be seen and identified by unaided, normal eyes.


Tools that provide visual images of data on-the-fly.

volumetric (total) water content

the ratio of the volume of the water and ice in a sample to the volume of the whole sample, expressed as a fraction (or, less commonly, as a percentage).

volumetric heat capacity

the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a unit volume of a substance by one degree.

volumetric latent heat of fusion

the amount of heat required to melt all the ice (or freeze all the pore water) in a unit volume of soil or rock.