Guide to Geologic Hazards in Alaska - Glossary

Glacier surge
[surging glacier] A glacier that alternates periodically between brief periods (usually one to four years) of rapid flow, called surges, and longer periods (usually 10 to 100 years) of near stagnation. During a surge, a large volume of ice from an ice-reservoir area is displaced downstream at speeds up to several meters per hour into an ice-receiving area, and the affected portion of the glacier is chaotically crevassed. In the interval between surges, the ice reservoir is slowly replenished by accumulation and normal ice flow, and the ice in the receiving area is greatly reduced by ablation. (Neuendorf, K.K.E. and others, 2005)
  • DGGS online catalog of government agency publications relating to: Glacier surge