chapter  7
GLACIERS
Pages 15

A glacier, ranging in size from the smallest cirque to the largest ice sheet is, in simple terms, an ice mass at the surface of the earth (Souchez and Lorrain, 1991). Flint (1957) was more precise and dynamic when he defined a glacier 'as a body of ice and firn, consisting of recrystallized snow and refrozen meltwater, lying mostly on land and showing evidence of present or former motion'. Earliest studies of glaciers, from the early 1750s to late 1840s (Paterson, 1994), concentrated on glacier movement and the complex climate-glacier relationships were neglected until the pioneer work of Ahlmann (1935) and Sverdrup (1936). Indeed the first textbook dealing entirely with this subject, Glaciers and Climate, was published in Stockholm in 1949 (Son Mannerfelt, 1949).