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A Landsat 7 satellite image of the Fedchenko Glacier in Tajikistan. At a length of 77 kilometres (48 miles), it is the longest glacier not in a polar region.

From Latin glaciēs (ice) (from Proto-Indo-European *gel- (to be cold; to freeze)) +‎ -ology (study of a particular subject).[1]



glaciology (countable and uncountable, plural glaciologies)

  1. (geography) The study of ice and its effect on the landscape, especially the study of glaciers. [from late 19th c.]
    • 1856, W. S.-Y., “Greenland”, in Thomas Stewart Traill, editor, The Encyclopædia Britannica, or Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature, volume XI, 8th edition, Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, OCLC 162676963, page 40, column 2:
      From this high position in latitude, explorations (furthered for a time by the effective aid of their Esquimaux dogs) were perseveringly made, and rewarded by results of the most interesting nature in geography, hydrography, and glaciology.
    • 1989, L. A. Rasmussen, “Discussion”, in Surface Velocity Variations of the Lower Part of Columbia Glacier, Alaska, 1977–1981 (U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper; 1258-H), Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, OCLC 165507411, page H28:
      Until now, aerial photography had been used in glaciology only for mapping the glacier surface and the surface velocity field; other, much more expensive, methods have been used to determine the bed and mass balance.
    • 1975, J[ohn] T. Andrews, Glacial Systems: An Approach to Glaciers and Their Environments (Environmental Systems), North Scituate, Mass.: Duxbury Press, OCLC 1323894, page 56:
      This general approach offers the possibility of reconstructing past glaciologies for a situation where (1) the outline of the glacier can be reconstructed, (2) the ELA [equilibrium line altitude] can be determined, (3) the area under the ELA can be measured, and (4) there is some information on the winter balance and ablation gradient of the former glacier.
    • 1999, Peter J. Robinson; Ann Henderson-Sellers, “Moisture in the Atmosphere”, in Contemporary Climatology, 2nd edition, Abingdon, Oxon.; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, published 2014, →ISBN, page 56:
      In order to understand and predict the actions of water in the climate system it is useful to think of the water as being part of a distinct system, sometimes called the hydrological cycle []. A complete understanding of this system would [] require excursions into geomorphology, pedology, botany, glaciology, oceanography and, if human structures are included as part of the Earth's surface, civil engineering.
    • 2003, Adam Johnson, chapter 5, in Parasites Like Us, New York, N.Y.: Viking Books, →ISBN; republished London: Black Swan, 2014, →ISBN, page 152:
      I was leafing through deep-core glaciology results from Greenland's mid-rift when the telephone rang. It droned on forever before it finally quit and I could concentrate again. The Greenland data confirmed all the other studies: the earth suffered ninety thousand years of ice-age weather, then ten thousand years of warm, in a loop that repeated over and over, as far back as there was ice to record it.

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