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by Peter G. Knight

Now Published by Routledge.

Knight, P.G. (1999) Glaciers.  
261 pages. isbn: 0-7487-4000-7

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Description  List of Contents Reviews of the book

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"As an introductory text for students and 
researchers interested in learning more about glaciers, 
this book cannot be surpassed." 

(Review in "Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research")

Buy this book from

Glaciers by Peter Knight 

The study of glaciers is a huge and expanding field. In recent years,  major leaps in our understanding of glaciers have been heralded as new paradigms in glaciology, and readers who are not intimately involved in the discipline can quickly fall behind new developments. Much of the existing glaciological literature is indigestible to all but the most expert readers, and many of the excellent glacier-related texts that presently exist cover only narrow sections  of the glacier story or spread their attention thinly into neighbouring disciplines.  This new book focuses directly on glaciers, and   incorporates discussion of recent developments in glaciology while remaining accessible to a broad readership. The mathematical content of the book is deliberately kept at a low level to facilitate ease of reading; there is no shortage of glaciological literature available elsewhere for more mathematically inclined readers. 

The aim of this book is to provide an up-to-date introduction to the study of glaciers. It is intended to be of value not only to researchers and advanced students, but also to undergraduates and non-professionals with an interest in glaciers. The book considers glaciers from an environmental, as well as a physical perspective, and considers both the history and the future of research on glaciers, along with its relevance to human activity. 


Glaciers by Peter G. Knight


1. Introduction 
1.1 This book 
1.2 Types of glacier 
1.3 Geography of glaciers
1.4 Conclusion

2. Glaciers and the global system 
2.1 Glaciers as part of the global environment 
2.2 Glaciers and the hydrological cycle 
2.3 Glaciers and oceans 
2.4 Glaciers and climate 
2.5 Conclusion

3. Formation and mass balance of glaciers 
3.1 Conditions of glacier formation and survival 
3.2 Mass balance 
3.3 Accumulation 
3.4 Transformation of snow to ice 
3.5 Ablation 
3.6 Measurement and modelling of mass balance 
3.7 Mass balance of specific glaciers 
3.8 Conclusion

4. Material, chemical and thermal properties of glaciers
4.1 Different types of ice 
4.2 Structure of ice 
4.3 Physical properties of ice 
4.4 Deformation of ice 
4.5 Ice composition and chemistry 
4.6 Importance of temperature to glacier characteristics 
4.7 Controls on glacier temperature 
4.8 Thermal regime and spatial variations in temperature 
4.9 Conclusion

5. Structure and morphology of glaciers 
5.1 Introduction 
5.2 Gross morphology 
5.3 Glacier Stratigraphy 
5.4 Surface features 
5.5 The englacial zone 
5.6 The basal layer 
5.7 The glacier bed and the subglacial zone 
5.8 The ice margin 
5.9 Conclusion

6. Glacier Hydrology 
6.1 Water in Glaciers 
6.2 Sources of water 
6.3 Water storage in glaciers 
6.4 Water flow through glaciers 
6.5 Water discharge from glaciers 
6.6 Ice-dammed lakes and Jökulhlaups 
6.7 Chemical composition of glacier waters 
6.8 Conclusion

7. Movement of Glaciers 
7.1 Glacier Motion 
7.2 Mechanisms of movement 
7.3 Factors controlling movement 
7.4 Observed patterns of movement 
7.5 Ice streams 
7.6 Surges 
7.7 Conclusion

8. Glacier Fluctuations 
8.1 Fluctuations of glacier margins 
8.2 Causes of glacier fluctuations 
8.3 Styles of advance and retreat 
8.4 Conclusion

9. Glacial sediment transfer and geomorphology 
9.1 Glaciers and geomorphology 
9.2 Glacial sediment production and transfer 
9.3 Process environments and glaciated landscapes 
9.4 Conclusion

10. Glacier hazards and resources 
10.1 Glaciers and human activity 
10.2 Glacier-related hazards 
10.3 Glacier-related resources 
10.4 Engineering properties of glacial sediments 
10.5 Conclusion

11. Ice cores
11.1 Ice cores 
11.2 Ice coring history and procedures 
11.3 Uses of ice cores 
11.4 Dating of cores 
11.5 Conclusion

12. Research directions in glaciology 
12.1 Glaciology 
12.2 The historical development of glaciology 
12.3 The role of technology 
12.4 Styles of contemporary research, and researcher 
12.6 The future 
12.7 Conclusion



"As an introductory text for students and researchers interested in learning more about glaciers, this book cannot be surpassed."

Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 
(Review by Mark Dyurgerov, University of Colorado)
  "An excellent book for senior undergraduates studying glaciology and glacial geology, ... it is suitable also as an introduction for anyone with an interest in glaciers."
(Review by John T. Andrews, University of Colorado)
 "I am definitely going to recommend this book to students, particularly in introductory courses where we try to convey the messages of basic glaciology. The book explains such material concisely and, because of the minimum use of mathematics, does not intimidate the uninitiated"
Progress in Physical Geography 
(Review by David J. A. Evans, University of Glasgow)
 "I would use the book in my undergraduate / graduate classes, as it provides a wealth of material for discussion and pointers to the literature."
Journal of Glaciology 
(Review by Andrew G. Fountain, Portland State University)
 "Overall the author does an excellent job in summarising modern glacier studies and the book is strongly recommended to any one wishing to update their knowledge.  ...teachers will find it very useful in providing a modern viewpoint on many important issues."
(Review by Ian S. Evans, University of Durham)


Comments received from readers:

"You did an outstanding job in writing this book and I am most grateful to have a copy."

R.C. Wolf, Cedarville, Illinois

I am happy today since I received your "Glaciers" this morning. 
I started reading and my first impression is that your book is easy
understandable for readers like me, not native speakers. I believe it will
help me much.

V. Dekov, Sofia, Bulgaria

   "Hi. I would like to say first off that I am enjoying your book. I haven't read any books about glaciers in the past, so I have none to compare to, but at least I can say that the reading in this one is not too difficult."
K. Goldman, N. E. Illinois University