Photoglossary

Mass balance

(or mass budget) A year-by-year measure of the state of health of a glacier, reflecting the balance between accumulation and ablation. A glacier with a positive mass balance in a particular year gained more mass through accumulation than was lost through ablation; the reverse is true for negative mass balance.

Mass balance investigations on White Glacier, Axel Heiberg Island. Photo J. Alean, 1976.

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