File:Athabasca Glacier Runoff.jpg

From Global Warming Art


View of the Athabasca glacier

Melt water outflow from the Athabasca glacier in the Columbia Icefield, Canada. This glacier has retreated ~1500 m since the late 19th century [1].

Downcutting of ice due to the melt water flow is clearly visible in this image. Similar downcutting can aid in the creation of crevasses, such as contributed to the breakup of the Larsen B Ice Shelf[1]. When the water in channels such as this manages to reach the underside of the glacier, it can also cause glacial flow to significantly increase by virtue of lubrication.[2]


Image taken by Wikipedia editor Wing-Chi Poon.

Source: Image:Melting Toe of Athabasca Glacier.jpg

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  1. ^ Scambos, T., C. Hulbe, M. Fahnestock, and J. Bohlander (2000). "The link between climate warming and break-up of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula". Journal of Glaciology 46: 516–530. 
  2. ^ H. Jay Zwally, Waleed Abdalati, Tom Herring, Kristine Larson, Jack Saba, Konrad Steffen. "Surface Melt-Induced Acceleration of Greenland Ice-Sheet Flow". Science 297 (5579): 218-222. 

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