Debris-covered glacier

Alternative definitions (1), class: vernacular (0)
Term: Debris-covered glacier
Definition: A glacier that supports a layer of rock, dust or ash detritus on most or all of the surface of its ablation zone. In the accumulation zone any deposited debris is buried by later snowfalls, but in the ablation zone debris remains at the surface and englacial debris is added to the surface layer from beneath as ice ablates away. The debris cover affects the rate of ablation, with very thin debris resulting in accelerated melt and debris thicker than a few tens of millimetres reducing the melting rate.
Created 2022.03.08
Last Modified 2023.03.27
Contributed by GCW Glossary