Alternative definitions (11), class: vernacular (0)
Term: Ablation
Definition: Ablation refers to all processes by which snow, ice, or water in any form are lost from a glacier. Ablation is the loss of snow or ice by evaporation and melting. The rate at which ablation occurs depends on the atmospheric conditions present, such as air moisture content, solar radiation, temperature, and the reflectivity (Albedo) of the snow or ice surface. Fresh snow has a high albedo (0.7 to 0.9), indicating that 70 to 90 percent of the radiation received is reflected; glacier ice has a lower albedo of 0.2 to 0.4. Therefore, more radiation may be absorbed by glacier ice than by snow. Glaciers around the mountain receive different amounts of sunlight, so each glacier has its own characteristic ablation pattern.
Created 2022.03.08
Last Modified 2023.03.27
Contributed by GCW Glossary