Water released by the melting of snow or ice / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Meltwater is water released by the melting of snow or ice, including glacial ice, tabular icebergs and ice shelves over oceans. Meltwater is often found during early spring when snow packs and frozen rivers melt with rising temperatures, and in the ablation zone of glaciers where the rate of snow cover is reducing. Meltwater can be produced during volcanic eruptions, in a similar way in which the more dangerous lahars form.

Meltwater in early spring in a stream in Pennsylvania, USA
Meltwater from Mount Edith Cavell Cavell Glacier

When meltwater pools on the surface rather than flowing, it forms melt ponds. As the weather gets colder meltwater will often re-freeze. Meltwater can also collect or melt under the ice's surface. These pools of water, known as subglacial lakes can form due to geothermal heat and friction.