Annual mass balance

Alternative definitions (1), class: vernacular (0)
Term: Annual mass balance
Definition: The sum of accumulation and ablation over the mass-balance year, equivalent to the sum of Annual accumulation and Annual ablation, and also to the sum of winter mass balance and summer mass balance where winter and summer are well-differentiated; that is, ba = ca + aa = bw + bs. For reasons explained more fully under Net mass balance, the term Annual mass balance replaces the formerly distinct terms 'Annual balance' and 'net balance', which were used in the fixed-date system and the stratigraphic system respectively. The adjective 'Annual' describes the time span of the mass-balance measurement more adequately than the adjective 'net', which does not refer to a time period but rather to the mass that is remaining after all deductions (here ablation) have been made.
Created 2022.03.08
Last Modified 2023.03.27
Contributed by GCW Glossary