Science Degree Program in China - Glaciology

1. Introduction

Glaciology, the branch of geology, is the discipline that studies various natural ice bodies on the surface of the earth. Natural ice bodies include mountain glaciers, continental ice sheets, sea ice, river ice, lake ice, ground water, seasonal ice, snow and snow in the movement and so on.

Glaciology is the interdisciplinary of the geography, geology and geophysics. Modern glacier is based on geophysics, a comprehensive discipline that is closely related to physics mathematics, crystallography, geology, geomorphology, hydrology, climatology, meteorology, physical geography, sedimentology, etc.

2. Research Content

1) Physical Glaciology

Physical glacier science mainly studies the internal structure, mechanical, thermal, electrical and chemical properties of the ice, also known as the ice physics. Among them, the development of faster is ice structure, it studies the snow and ice crystal growth, structure and changes of snow metamorphism and water frozen into ice, ice dynamic metamorphism and thermal metamorphism, the world is a ice belt division.

2) Hydrology and Climate Glaciology

Hydrology and climate glaciology includes glacier hydrology and climatology glacier, mainly study the interaction of ice and snow and atmosphere and hydrosphere. Including ice formation and ablation of climatic conditions, exchange between the ice and the atmosphere of heat and radiation, advance or retreat of glaciers and climate change and sea level changes in the relationship between, ice and snow, the role of the climate and the ablation process and glacial melt water to the river the replenishment effect, flood glaciers, glacial lake outburst, glacier debris flow disaster and its prediction.

3) Geology and Geomorphology Glaciology

Geology and geomorphology glaciology includes glacial geology and glacial geomorphology, mainly studying the interaction between the glacier and the surface, the process of the landform, the phenomenon of the ice margin, the glacial deposits, the quaternary and other geological age.

The distribution of sea ice, floating ice and iceberg affects the marine traffic and offshore production. In the cold mountain, the avalanche, the wind blowing snow and glacial lake outburst and glacial debris flow often caused by disasters, requires the use of glaciological theory and method for prediction and prevention.

Since the middle of the 20th century, the research focuses on the glaciers of many countries from mountain glaciers to the investigation and research of the polar ice caps, especially on the Antarctic continental ice sheets (the earth's largest cold source).

3. Ice Mechanics

Ice mechanics studies the elasticity, plasticity and strength of ice, force distribution and motion state of all natural ice in vivo, glaciers, avalanches, wind blowing dynamics in the snow, glacier leap forward and forecast; ice thermal physics of natural ice in the temperature change, ice thermal and radiative properties, phase composition and phase transformation; analysis of ice impurities and trace element geochemical study of the ice, hydrogen and oxygen isotopes and some changes in the composition, especially the development of deep hole in the ice core analysis technology, is conducive to the reconstruction of the ancient climate and environment change.

4. Significance Outlook

1) The global glacier area covers over 16 million square kilometers, accounting for about 11% of the earth's land area, about 69% of global freshwater resources.

2) Glacier changes affect the global circulation of the atmosphere, water cycle and climate, and bring important influence to the agricultural production and human activities.

3) Sea ice, floating ice and ice distribution affects the marine traffic and offshore production.

5. Branch Disciplines

Geography, physical geography, geomorphology, dynamic geomorphology, tectonic geomorphology, climate, geomorphology, plant geography, geomorphology, application of permafrost and ancient geography, hydrology, geography, soil chemical geography, comprehensive physical geography, human geography, economic geography, agricultural geography, industrial geography, commercial geography, transportation geography, tourism geography, population geography, ethnic geography, settlement geography, rural geography, city geography, social geography, cultural geography, medical geography, political geography, military geography, cartography, toponymy, theoretical geography, historical geography, regional geography and applied geography. 

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