Surge front

The zone of intense compression between surging ice and non-surging ice. This is commonly marked by a bulge and a transition from heavily crevassed to crevasse-free ice. The surge front rapidly moves through the glacier, and if it reaches the snout, the glacier advances.

Heavily fractured surge front of the glacier Fridtjofbreen, Bellsund, Spitsbergen, Svalbard. The glacier advanced approximately a kilometre during the surge, overriding a marine embayment and the adjacent land area. Photo M. J. Hambrey, 1996.