Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Glacier Environments

  • B. MenounosEmail author
  • Alexandre Bevington
  • Marten Geertsema
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_143


Glacier environments are landscapes either directly associated with contemporary glaciers or those affected by former ice masses.


Engineers require a basic understanding of alpine glaciers given their importance as freshwater sources for humans and ecosystem health. Glaciers and associated terrain also present a unique collection of natural hazards typically not found in other mountain environments. This chapter addresses alpine glacier environments, their associated processes, and the challenges that they pose for engineers and geoscientists.

Glaciers and Glacierized Terrain

A glacier is a perennial body of mostly ice, covered seasonally by snow that undergoes internal deformation (amended from Cogley et al. 2011). Glaciers are found at high elevations and latitudes, and range in size from hundreds of square meters to those that drain large sectors of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets (Fig. 1). Mass change of alpine glaciers including past and present-day...
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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Menounos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexandre Bevington
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marten Geertsema
    • 2
  1. 1.Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute and Geography ProgramUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural DevelopmentPrince GeorgeCanada