How is the mass balance of a glacier determined?

As the snow on top of the glacier melts, the stakes become exposed. The length of stake exposed at the end of the ablation season is the depth of snow that has melted. Seasonal and net mass balance can be calculated by extrapolating these ablation, height, and density measurements across the glacier area.

What is meant by glacier mass balance?

What is glacier mass balance? The Mass balance of a glacier can be thought of as the health of a glacier. Mass balance is the total sum of all the accumulation (snow, ice, freezing rain) and melt or ice loss (from calving icebergs, melting, sublimation) across the entire glacier.

How many stakes are required to measure the mass balance of a glacier?

The number of mass balance measurements required to determine the glacier balance appears to be scale invariant for small glaciers and five to ten stakes are sufficient.

Which determines the mass balance of a glacier quizlet?

What is mass balance? The difference between the amount of snow and ice accumulation on the glacier and the amount of snow and ice ablation (melting and sublimation) lost from the glacier.

How do you calculate specific mass balance?

Specific net mass balance b is calculated by dividing the mass balance by the glacier area and given in millimeter water equivalent (mm w.e.). Some Austrian time series also include seasonal mass balances, that is winter mass balance from October 1 to April 30.

What is true about the glacial mass budget?

The glacial budget/mass balance shows whether the volume of water in the glacial system has increased or decreased. What does the change in volume of water determine? The change in volume of water determines whether the front of the glacier advances forwards or retreats back.

What is the equilibrium line on a glacier quizlet?

What is the equilibrium line? It separates the accumulation zone and the ablation zone. What happens when the snow accumulation rate is larger than the melting rate? The glacier advances.

How do you make a mass balance?

How to Use Mass Balance for FLW Quantification

  1. Step 1: Define your inputs, outputs and stocks. Three key figures – the inputs, the outputs and the stocks – form the basis of the mass balance calculation.
  2. Step 2: Identify data sources.
  3. Step 3: Account for any variations.
  4. Step 4: Perform the mass balance analysis.

Why are mass balance important?

In industry, mass balances are widely employed in engineering, and environmental analyses ( 1, 2 ). For example, mass balance theory is used to design chemical reactors, to analyze alternative processes to produce chemicals, as well as to model pollution dispersion and other processes, just to name a few.

What is AAR in glacier?

AAR is the ratio of accumulation area to the total area of the glacier (Meier, 1962). Meier and Post (1962) suggested an AAR value of 0.58 corresponding to a specific net balance of zero for the North Cascade glaciers. Paterson (1981) suggested an AAR value of 0.7 for zero mass balance for the Alpine glaciers.

How does the glacial budget work?

The glacial budget refers to the balance between the amount of inputs versus outputs affecting the glacial system. In the upper part of the glacier, often found in mountainous areas, inputs exceed outputs as there will be snowfall and avalanches adding to the glacier.