is the study of glaciers, or more generally the study of ice
and natural phenomena that involve ice. It is an interdisciplinary earth science
that integrates geology
, and ecology
. The presence of ice on Mars
brings in an extraterrestrial component to the field.
Areas of study within glaciology include glacial history and the reconstruction of past glaciation patterns, effects of glaciers on climate and vice versa, the dynamics of ice movement, the contributions of glaciers to erosion, lifeforms that live in the ice, and so forth.
Unsurprisingly, glaciology is one of the key areas supported by polar research.