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


Definition: Ice accumulated on the current summer surface, during the current mass-balance year, by the refreezing there of rain or meltwater. Superimposed ice is not the same thing as internal accumulation, which represents refreezing below the summer surface. Superimposed ice becomes glacier ice at the end of the mass-balance year. Superimposed ice requires special attention in conventional mass-balance programmes. In a pair of stake measurements, at the start and end of the ablation season, accumulation of superimposed ice causes a decrease of the distance from the top of the stake to the ice surface (regardless of any overlying snow). This decrease is real and not, for example, due to faulty book-keeping.  IHPGlacierMassBalance 

Ice that forms as a result of the freezing of water-saturated snow. It commonly forms at the surface of a glacier between the equilibrium line and the firn line, and gives the glacier additional mass.  Swisseduc 

Ice exposed at the surface of a glacier that was formed by the freezing of melted snow after deposition; usually located below the snow line and above the equilibrium line. Although it is ice, it is part of the accumulation area.  AMSglossary