A new paper by Pete in online journal Frontiers in Earth Science examines the feedbacks between ablation and supraglacial debris movement that affect both how debris-covered glaciers melt over long periods of time and how they construct distinct landforms. This paper is part of a special issue focused on Debris-Covered Glaciers: Formation, Governing Processes, Present Status and Future Directions. Key findings from Pete's study include: 1) mobile supraglacial debris allows faster long-term melt than static debris; and 2) an optimal debris mobility exists that produces high-relief, non-uniform debris accumulations similar to hummocky moraine. Too much mobility and relief is quickly subdued before the ice is melted away. Too little mobility and high relief on the melting ice simply spreads the debris out on the de-iced surface. What do we mean by mobility? Check out the article to find out!
New open-access paper explores evolution of debris-covered glacier surfaces
August 9, 2021