Glacial Lakes

Glacial Lakes

Glaciers and lakes are intrinsically connected. Lakes form when meltwater ponds, and this can happen on the ice surface (supraglacial lakes), in front of the ice (proglacial lakes), or even underneath the ice (subglacial lakes).

Glacier lakes can affect ice flow by reducing friction at the ice-bed interface, encouraging basal sliding. They can change the albedo of the ice surface, encouraging more surface melt. Proglacial lakes cause calving, which affects mass balance and can decouple mountain glaciers from climate.

Glacier lakes can be hazardous; moraine and ice dams can fail, causing catastropic glacier lake outburst floods or jokulhlaups.

This page includes information about all kinds of glaciolacustrine environments and processes.

Other pages of interest include:

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