What does icefall mean?

Definitions for icefallˈaɪsˌfɔl

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word icefall.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. icefall(noun)

    a steep part of a glacier resembling a frozen waterfall


  1. icefall(Noun)

    A relatively rapid and turbulent flow of ice, somewhat analogous to a waterfall

Webster Dictionary

  1. Icefall(noun)

    a frozen waterfall, or mass of ice resembling a frozen waterfall


  1. Icefall

    An icefall is a portion of some glaciers characterized by rapid flow and a chaotic crevassed surface. Perhaps the most conspicuous consequence of glacier flow, icefalls occur where the glacier bed steepens and/or narrows. The term icefall is formed by analogy with the word waterfall, a similar, but much higher speed, flow phenomenon. Most glacier ice flows at speeds of a few hundred metres per year or less. However, the flow of ice in an icefall may be measured in kilometres per year. Such rapid flow cannot be accommodated by plastic deformation of the ice. Instead, the ice fractures forming crevasses. Intersecting fractures form ice columns or seracs. These processes are imperceptible for the most part, however, a serac may collapse or topple abruptly and without warning. This behavior often poses the biggest risk to mountaineers climbing in an icefall. Below the icefall, the glacier bed flattens and/or widens and the ice flow slows. Crevasses close and the glacier surface becomes much smoother and easier to traverse. Icefalls vary greatly in height. The Roosevelt Glacier icefall, on the north face of Mount Baker, is about 730 metres high. The ice cliff of the left side of the ice fall and above the debris covering the glacier is 20 to 40 metres high. Typical of mountain glaciers, this icefall forms as the ice flows from a high elevation plateau or basin accumulation zone to a lower valley ablation zone. Much larger icefalls may be found in the outlet glaciers of continental ice sheets. The icefall feeding the Lambert Glacier in Antarctica is 7 kilometres wide and 14 kilometres long, even though the elevation difference is only 400 metres, a little more than half that of the Roosevelt Glacier icefall.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of icefall in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of icefall in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Alan Arnette:

    Bottom line, the icefall has been deemed impassable at this point.

  2. Ang Tshering Sherpa:

    The condition of the icefall now is like it was before the earthquake.

  3. Jim Whittaker:

    They'll have to put a new route in from base camp up through that icefall.

  4. Alan Arnette:

    I think it will be an hour longer on Khumbu Icefall, i don't think it will be game changer.

  5. Ang Tsering Sherpa:

    The snow conditions are very stable and the icefall doctors are very experienced, they know the conditions very well and they know each step very well. Their main priority is to put the safety and security of mountaineers and themselves first.

Images & Illustrations of icefall

  1. icefall

Translations for icefall

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • बर्फ गिरनाHindi

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"icefall." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 24 Apr. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/icefall>.

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