Mass balance (of glaciers, ice caps or ice sheets)
In glaciology, the difference between a body of ice’s mass gain and mass loss is referred to as its mass balance.
In glaciology, the difference between a body of ice’s mass gain (accumulation) and mass loss (ablation) is referred to as its mass balance. The total mass gain or loss regarding a glacier, ice cap or ice sheet in the course of a hydrological cycle – as a rule, one year – is called the total mass balance. The specific mass balance is the change in mass over time at a specific point on a glacier. As a rule, the total mass balance is determined by integrating data from numerous specific mass balance readings taken across the glacier surface.