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Characteristics of Surge-Type Glaciers (Abstract)

  • G.K.C. Clarke (a1), J. Schmok (a1) and C.S.L. Ommanney (a2)

Abstract

Glaciers can be separated into two classes according to their flow behaviour: normal (relatively steady, annually-averaged, flow rates) and surge-type (pronounced non-annual fluctuations in flow rates). Using glacier inventory data, we compared the population statistics of 1637 normal and surge-type glaciers in the St. Elias Mountains, Yukon Territory, Canada. Within the 38 drainage basins analysed, there is a pronounced spatial variation in the concentration of surge-type glaciers, but no obvious environmental control can be evinced. Analysis of the length distribution function for surge-type glaciers reveals that long glaciers (length exceeding 15 km) have a greater tendency to be surge-type than short glaciers.

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