University of Sussex

File(s) not publicly available

Basal glacier ice and massive ground ice: Different scientists, same science?

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 16:52 authored by Richard I Waller, Julian MurtonJulian Murton, Peter G Knight
Whilst glaciologists and permafrost researchers investigate ice bodies using similar techniques, there has been surprisingly little collaboration between the two communities. This paper examines the potential benefits of interdisciplinary research into the formation of basal ice beneath glaciers and the origin of massive ice in glaciated permafrost regions. Active collaboration in these areas has already improved our understanding of the formation of basal ice beneath cold-based glaciers, the critical role played by basal freezing in controlling the dynamic behaviour of stagnating ice streams and the significance of glacier-permafrost interactions at the margins of Pleistocene ice sheets. However, in order to promote future collaboration certain obstacles need to be overcome. The contrasting ice-classification schemes employed by glaciologists and permafrost scientists, for example, need to be unified in order to allow detailed comparisons of ice-rich sequences in both environments. This could, in turn, enable exciting research advances, most notably by facilitating the identification of preserved remnants of Pleistocene ice sheets within permafrost regions that provide a potentially invaluable and currently largely untapped source of palaeoglaciological information.


Publication status

  • Published


Geological Society Special Publication





Page range


Department affiliated with

  • Geography Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected