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Local aspect asymmetry of mountain glaciation : a global survey of consistency of favoured directions for glacier numbers and altitudes.

Evans, I. S. (2006) 'Local aspect asymmetry of mountain glaciation : a global survey of consistency of favoured directions for glacier numbers and altitudes.', Geomorphology., 73 (1-2). pp. 166-184.


Understanding aspect effects on present-day glaciers provides essential background to the palaeoclimatic interpretation of reconstructed former glaciers or glacial cirques. Several factors influencing glacier mass balance vary with slope aspect: these give more glaciers, lower glaciers and possibly larger glaciers on favoured aspects. Their effects can be measured by either vector analysis of the number of glaciers with each aspect or Fourier regression of glacier altitude or size against aspect. Both approaches are applied here to large data sets from the World Glacier Inventory, for all available regions. Favoured aspect is measured by direction of the resultant vector mean and by the direction of minimum glacier altitude, for 51 regions with a total of 66,084 glaciers. The two directions are broadly consistent in mid-latitudes and in the tropics, but large differences occur in the Arctic and Nepal. Poleward aspects dominate, especially in mid-latitudes: radiation receipt is the major factor, with strong wind effects limited to areas with only moderate relief Strength of asymmetry is measured by vector strength (from glacier numbers) or by a combination of first Fourier coefficients (from glacier altitudes). Measuring two different facets of degree of asymmetry, they are essentially unrelated. The Fourier measure is the best estimate of local climatic asymmetry, as vector strength is more influenced by topography. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:
Keywords:Mountain glaciers, Circular statistics, World Glacier Inventory, Glacier mass balance asymmetry, Glacier distribution.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:January 2006
Date first made open access:No date available

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