Accumulation area

Alternative definitions (5), class: vernacular (0)
Term: Accumulation area
Definition: Accumulation area is the upper region of a glacier where snow accumulation exceeds melting. A line that marks the limit on a mountain above which snow persists from one winter to the next is called the annual snowline, and this line on a glacier is called the firnline. Above the firnline, snow that falls each year packs down and changes into glacier ice as air is slowly forced out of it. This part of the glacier is its accumulation area where more snow falls each year than is lost by melting. Below the firnline is the ablation area, where melting predominates. A synonym of accumulation zone.
Created 2022.03.08
Last Modified 2023.03.27
Contributed by GCW Glossary