Balance flux

Alternative definitions (1), class: vernacular (0)
Term: Balance flux
Definition: The hypothetical horizontal mass flux (dimension [M T-1]) through a vertical cross section that would be equal to the mass balance (usually the climatic mass balance) over the region upglacier from the cross section. Comparison of balance flux and actual mass flux at the same cross section gives an indication of the health of the glacier. If the mass balance of the glacier is zero it follows that at the terminus the balance flux and mass flux are equal, and if there is also no calving that they are equal to zero. If the two are equal at all cross sections the glacier is in steady state.
Created 2022.03.08
Last Modified 2023.03.27
Contributed by GCW Glossary