Field work for a geological map of the Convoy Range included mapping glaciers, moraines and surficial deposits. A range of glaciological indicators, including supraglacial and other moraines and margin morphology, has been used to assess the present equilibrium of the glaciers. Fields of rafted supraglacial moraine have accumulated over long periods of time at specific low-gradient, low-velocity locations. As the glacier regime changes, the shape of the moraine field distorts, signalling a change in flow pattern. By reversing the ice flow vectors directed at the moraine field, the directions from whence the debris came are shown. Unsorting the contortions of supraglacial moraine fields reveals the nature of the changes in glacier regime. Moraine-field configurations all suggest that local glaciers are expanding in response to higher local precipitation, estimated to have occurred between 2000 and 8000 year BP, most likely coincident with the world-wide “climatic optimum” of about 6000 year BP.
Ice-cliff morphology, fresh terminal moraines and boulder trains indicate that larger local glaciers are currently receding from a Holocene maximum, while the margin of the large Mackay Ice Sheet outlet glacier shows no evidence of recent recession and is probably close to its Holocene maximum. In contrast, areas of present snow cover are expanding, superimposing a recent positive balance (decades to hundreds of years), which has yet to reverse a general recession of mid- to high-altitude glaciers. Local hollows in some névé areas imply that glacier flow is not in equilibrium with snow accumulation.