Articles | Volume 10, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 10, 1105–1124, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-1105-2016
The Cryosphere, 10, 1105–1124, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-1105-2016
Research article
26 May 2016
Research article | 26 May 2016

Modeling debris-covered glaciers: response to steady debris deposition

Leif S. Anderson and Robert S. Anderson

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Short summary
Mountains erode and shed rocks down slope. When these rocks (debris) fall on glacier ice they can suppress ice melt. By protecting glaciers from melt, debris can make glaciers extend to lower elevations. Using mathematical models of glaciers and debris deposition, we find that debris can more than double the length of glaciers. The amount of debris deposited on the glacier, which scales with mountain height and steepness, is the most important control on debris-covered glacier length and volume.