Articles | Volume 10, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 10, 1105–1124, 2016
The Cryosphere, 10, 1105–1124, 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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Cited articles

Anderson, L. S.: Glacier response to climate change: modeling the effects of weather and debris-cover, PhD thesis, University of Colorado, Boulder, 175 pp., 2014.
Anderson, L. S., Roe, G. H., and Anderson, R. S.: The effects of interannual climate variability on the moraine record, Geology, 42, 55–58, 2014.
Anderson, R. S.: A model of ablation-dominated medial moraines and the generation of debris-mantled glacier terms, J. Glaciol., 46, 459–469,, 2000.
Arsenault, A. M. and Meigs, A. J.: Contribution of deep-seated bedrock landslides to erosion of a glaciated basin in southern Alaska, Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 30, 1111–1125,, 2005.
Ballantyne, C. K. and Harris, C.: The Periglaciation of Great Britain, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 335 pp., 1994.
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.