Related topics: glaciers · sea level

Meltwater influences ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean

In the summer months, sea ice from the Arctic drifts through Fram Strait into the Atlantic. Thanks to meltwater, a stable layer forms around the drifting ice atop the salty seawater, producing significant effects on biological ...

Stalagmites as key witnesses of the monsoon

The ice sheets of Greenland are melting at an alarming rate. This causes large amounts of freshwater to flow into the North Atlantic, thereby slowing the Gulf Stream. Researchers fear that this will have noticeable effects ...

Icebergs drifting from Canada to southern Florida

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) climate modeler Dr. Alan Condron and United States Geological Survey (USGS) research geologist Dr. Jenna Hill have found evidence that massive icebergs from roughly 31,000 years ...

Greenland ice sheet meltwater can flow in winter, too

Liquid meltwater can sometimes flow deep below the Greenland Ice Sheet in winter, not just in the summer, according to CIRES-led work published in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters today. That finding means that ...

100-year-old physics model replicates modern Arctic ice melt

The Arctic is melting faster than we thought it would. In fact, Arctic ice extent is at a record low. When that happens—when a natural system behaves differently than scientists expect—it's time to take another look at ...

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Meltwater

Meltwater is the water released by the melting of snow or ice, including glacial ice and ice shelfs over oceans. Meltwater is often found in the ablation zone of glaciers, where the rate of snow cover is reducing. Meltwater can be produced during volcanic eruptions, in a similar way in which the more dangerous lahars form.

When meltwater pools on the surface rather than flowing, it forms melt ponds. As the weather gets colder meltwater will often re-freeze. Meltwater can collect or melt under the ice's surface. These pools of water, known as subglacial lakes can form due to geothermal heat and friction.

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