USGS - science for a changing world

USGS Multimedia Gallery

Maps, Imagery, and Publications Hazards Newsroom Education Jobs Partnerships Library About USGS Social Media

Multimedia Gallery Home | Audio

Is glacier ice very cold?

Play the audio

[music fades in]

Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Danielle Eganhouse. Today's question is about the temperature of glaciers.

Is glacier ice very cold?

Not really - most of the glacier ice in Alaska is only a few tenths of a degree below the melting temperature, except for a surface layer a few meters thick that is cooled during winter. As a consequence, most glaciers in Alaska are not frozen to their beds. These glaciers are referred to as "temperate" glaciers. Glaciologists refer to a glacier as a "cold" glacier if it is more than a few degrees below the freezing temperature throughout most of its thickness.

And now you know. Join us again every weekday for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an email at or a phone call at 703-648-5600. Remember, long distance fees do apply.

CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

[music fade out]

open embed url Embed this audio file


Title: Is glacier ice very cold?

Description: Listen to hear the answer.


Date Recorded: 7/15/2008

Usage: This audio file is public domain/of free use unless otherwise stated. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this audio.

USGS CoreFacts

File Details:

Suggest an update to the information/tags?

CoreFacts (Set) RSS Media RSS Special Announcement: CoreFacts Being Discontinued What can I do to be prepared for a landslide?
In: Podcasts collection

podcast icon

Tags: 2008 July glaciers



Browse More: Audio Collections | Audio Sets


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Image Gallery Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, January 09, 2013