Mass balance also varies throughout the year; glaciers typically get more accumulation in the winter and more ablation in the summer (Panel C in the figure).
Glacier mass balance therefore usually can therefore be expressed as a mass balance gradient curve, showing how c a varies attitudinally across the glacier (Panel D in the figure).
Moreover, the maximum EISC and its isostatic footprint had a profound impact on the proglacial hydrological network, forming the and drained the present day Vistula, Elbe, Rhine and Thames rivers through the Seine Estuary. 14.6 ka BP, two major proglacial lakes formed in the Baltic and White seas, buffering meltwater pulses from eastern Fennoscandia through to the Younger Dryas when these massive proglacial freshwater lakes flooded into the North Atlantic Ocean.
Deglaciation temporarily abated during the Younger Dryas stadial at 12.9 ka BP, when remnant ice across Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya, Fennoscandia and Scotland experienced a short-lived but dynamic re-advance.
Glaciers gaining and losing approximately the same amount of snow and ice are thought of as ‘in equilibrium’, and will neither advance nor recede.
For clarification: when we talk about glaciers advancing, receding or being in equilibrium, we are talking about the position of their snout.
In the figure below, Panel A shows how temperature varies with altitude.
A glacier is the product of how much mass it receives and how much it loses by melting.
Surface accumulation processes include snow and ice from direct precipitation, avalanches and windblown snow. The snow and ice is then transferred downslope as the glacier flows.
Precipitation falling as rain is usually considered to be lost to the system.
Here, we apply a first-order, thermomechanical ice sheet model, validated against a diverse suite of empirical data, to investigate the retreat of the EISC after 23 ka BP, directly extending the work of Patton et al.
(2016) who modelled the build-up to its maximum extent.