[CRYOLIST] When is a glacier no longer a glacier?

Andrew Fountain andrew at pdx.edu
Tue Aug 14 14:51:48 PDT 2018


I have always preferred Mark Meier's definition of a glacier. Simple,
straight foward, memorable,

A glacier is a mass of perennial ice or snow that moves.

Andrew

On Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 2:47 PM, Allen Pope <apope00 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Cryolist,
>
> I recently saw this documentary advertised (https://www.notokmovie.com/)
> about the Icelandic (former) glacier of Okjökull, and it is partly premised
> on being the first glacier in Iceland to lose its formal title of glacier
> <http://icelandmag.is/article/okjokull-glacier-loses-its-glacier-title-due-its-declining-size>.
> (We are going to do a screening in north Iceland, too, at the end of next
> week. You know, if you happen to be around Dalvík next Friday night...)
>
> This documentary uses a definition of size and thickness, and therefore
> not currently able to flow any more, to be stripped of its title.
>
> BUT, the Glossary of Glacier Mass Balance and Related Terms
> <http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001925/192525e.pdf> defines a
> glacier as "A perennial mass of ice, and possibly firn and snow,
> originating on the land surface by the recrystallization of snow or other
> forms of solid precipitation and showing evidence of past or present flow.
> ", and it would seem that Ok, from its patterning, could be argued to show
> evidence of past flow, I think?
>
> So - what does Cryolist think? When does a glacier become not a glacier?
> Are there other examples of this being claimed/stated? Or any literature on
> this? I know this may seem a bit pedantic, but it is a claim that can and
> has clearly drive some headlines and will be happening increasingly in the
> future.
>
> Best,
> Allen
> --
> about.me/allenpope
> twitter.com/PopePolar
>
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-- 
Andrew G. Fountain

Department of Geology
Department of Geography

Address:                            FedEx/Shipping Address:
------------------------                 --------------------------
Department of Geology        Department of Geology
Portland State University      17 Cramer Hall
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                                          Portland, OR 97201
Email:  andrew at pdx.edu      USA
http://www.glaciers.pdx.edu
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