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The Origin of Dirt Cones on Glaciers

  • Charles Swithinbank (a1)

Abstract

The characteristics and probable development of dirt cones on Vatnajökull (Iceland) are described. Thick accumulations of debris protect the ice beneath them from ablation, whereas thin ones accelerate the process. Under given conditions of ablation, the nature of the debris covering is the deciding factor—in particular its radiation absorption coefficient, conductivity and thickness. Contrasts are noted between the dirt cones of Vatnajökull and those of other glaciers. The nature of the debris and of the ablation varies greatly from place to place, but all dirt cones result from differential ablation.

Zusammenfassung

Die Kennzeichen und wahrscheinliche Entwicklung von Eisachmelzkegeln auf Vatnajökull (Island) sind beschrieben. Dichte Schuttanhäufungen schützen das Eis darunter vor Ablation, wogegen leichte Anhäufungen dieser Art den Prozess beschleunigen. Unter gegebenen Ablationsverhältnissen ist die Beschaffenheit der Schuttdecke ausschlaggebend, vor allem deren Strahlungs-Absorptionskoeffizient,Leitungsfähigkeit und Dicke. Gegensätze zwischen Eisschmelzkegeln auf Vatnajökull und andern Gletschern sind angegeben. Die Beschaffenheit des Schuttes und der Ablation ist von Ort zu Ort verschieden, aber alle Eisachmelzkegel haben ihren Ursprung in Differential-Ablation.

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Copyright

References

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The Origin of Dirt Cones on Glaciers

  • Charles Swithinbank (a1)

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