Glacial karst

Glacial karst (Cryokarst) – a set of phenomena and processes developing on the surface of and within a glacier as a result of ice melting and the action of flowing water, similar to the karst phenomena that develops in carbonate rocks.

Geological formations that originate from both of these environments show uncanny similarity. Glacial karst processes give rise to draining systems of a melting glacier.

The internal drainage system is composed of:

  • moulins/glacier mills,
  • wells,
  • cascades
  • channels
  • corridors
  • chambers
  • karst springs

Photo on the right:  Internal drainage systems of glaciers, In: Karst and Cryokarst, Tyc.A, Stefaniak K.(eds) 2007. Studies of the Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silecia No 45: 49-64.

Kolondra L., Pulina M.1998 Charting of surface relief forms of polar glacier on the example of Hans Glacier) Hornsund Fiord, Spitsbergen, appendix: Cryo-karst forms on the Hans Glacier, Wyprawy Geograficzne na Spitsbergen (Geographic expeditions to Spitsbergen) UMCS Lublin: 59-7.

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