Term: Glaciological method Class:  
 vernacular   (0%)
Created 6 June 2017
Last modified 6 June 2017
Contributed by GCW Glossary


Definition: A method of determining mass balance in-situ on the glacier surface by measurements of accumulation and ablation, generally including measurements at stakes and in snow pits; direct method has long been a synonym. The measurements may also rely on depth probing and density sampling of the snow and firn, and coring. They are made at single points, the results from a number of points being extrapolated and integrated to yield the surface mass balance over a larger area such as an elevation band or the entire glacier. The internal mass balance and basal mass balance, and ice discharge if any, are treated separately.  IHPGlacierMassBalance