Temperature distribution in glaciers and ice sheets

Temperatures in glaciers and ice sheets vary in space and time. Temperate glaciers have temperatures at or close to 0 C, while the upper part of the Antarctic ice sheet may be as cold as -40 to -60 C (Fig. 4.2). The melting temperature of ice decreases with increasing pressure at a rate of 0.072 C per 106 pascals (MPa lPa INm-2). As an example, the pressure at the base of a 2000 m thick glacier or ice sheet is about 17.6 MPa, corresponding to a lowering of the melting point to 1.27 C. Therefore...