What is the official term to describe a group of icebergs?

Asked by Andrea Well Andrea, this really got a lot of attention when I surveyed a group of my glaciology colleagues. There is no ‘official’ term, but there are some commonly used phrases,often taken from nautical terms, like ‘armada‘ or ‘flotilla‘. Armada is more often used for a very large group of icebergs (such as … Read more

Is Thwaites Glacier being warmed by natural tectonic activity?

Question: regarding Thwaites:  I note that tectonic sources create warm water currents that are increasing the melt rate of the shelf and glacier, moving the grounding line inland. It seems that this is a “natural” occurrence, not related to climate change. If we are using Thwaites as an example of climate change, how do we … Read more

How is Antarctica melting?

Question: My name is Alexander Chladzynski, I am 11 and curious about many things. For a school project I am doing it on how Antarctica is melting. It would be awesome if you could give me some facts about Antarctica. Great question Alexander, the majority of ice melt in Antarctica is around the edges of … Read more

What are Ellipsoidal Basins?

Question: I’m teaching A-level Glaciation, and we have to talk about Ice Sheets and the landforms that they create and the one that is talked about often is an Ellipsoidal Basins especially related to the Laurentide Ice Sheet and Minnesota . I was wondering if you have any diagrams or simple explanation to explain the … Read more

What are staircase corries and how do they form?

Hi Oliva, Great question! Staircase corries are also known as staircase cirques, this is when there are more than two cirques, where one is sat above another. Staircase cirques form with the same process as a stand alone cirque, beginning with a small hollow which overtime expands due to both physical and chemical weathering. You … Read more

Why are fossils important when studying glaciers?

Asked by Edward Hello Edward! Great question. Fossils can be very useful in understanding past environmental change; this can be linked to past glacier fluctuations so that we can understand what the environment or climate was like when glaciers in the past grew larger or smaller. For example, fossil pollen from plants can be found … Read more

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