Definition of meltwater in US English:


(also meltwaters)


  • Water formed by the melting of snow and ice, especially from a glacier.

    ‘meltwater lies in pools on the frozen ground’
    ‘glacial meltwaters gathered on a thick bed of boulder clay’
    • ‘While these lakes existed, they were maintained by the inflow of dirty meltwater from the receding glacier.’
    • ‘And because many glaciers store large amounts of meltwater and release it suddenly, lives downstream will be lost.’
    • ‘Despite being fed by meltwater, most of the lakes are extremely salty.’
    • ‘In brief periods of relative warmth, glacial meltwater accumulated behind this ice to form small, temporary lakes.’
    • ‘Large quantities of glacier meltwater deposited various kinds of material, the most important of which is called outwash (advance or recessional), consisting mostly of sands and gravels.’
    • ‘Although ice masses in those areas make up only 30 percent of the world's glaciers, they contribute 70 percent of the total glacial meltwater.’
    • ‘During the brief summer, it is warm enough for a few days or weeks to create meltwater; a few, inconsequential streams tumble down from the glaciers above the valleys.’
    • ‘Swollen with meltwater from the mountains, a stream rushed between reedy banks.’
    • ‘In permafrost regions, summer thaw produces meltwater, which is typically unable to infiltrate into the ground because of the ice-rich frozen soils found in permafrost.’
    • ‘The Tail Burn cascaded through a landscape strewn with mounds of flood-washed rubble left behind by glacial meltwaters, weathered over ten thousand years into rounded hillocks.’
    • ‘The rolling outwash plain here was formed by meltwater from glacial ice fields to the north.’
    • ‘Strolling up to the glacier edge, Victorian visitors could peer in amazement into deep-blue caves, or paddle in the freezing meltwater which surged from under the ice.’
    • ‘Above the waterfall, the snow - although solid and deep - had been hollowed out by running meltwater.’
    • ‘The icefields discharge ice and meltwater to the ocean on the west side and to lakes on the east side, via rapidly flowing glaciers.’
    • ‘Warming surface temperatures in Greenland are allowing more meltwater to trickle down to the glacier bed.’
    • ‘Huge glaciers and meltwater carved out the deep trough of the glen some 20,000 years ago.’
    • ‘Glaciers from many ice ages have flattened the landscape, and the large ancient lakes that resulted from their meltwater have left many dunes and are still present in many cases as smaller lakes.’
    • ‘Formed by accumulated meltwater, the overfilled lakes could suddenly discharge massive volumes of water, known as glacial lake outburst flooding.’
    • ‘Scientific models have previously suggested this will bring more rainfall to the west of Scotland, which, combined with meltwater from the mountains, will boost the flow of rivers.’
    • ‘The volume of meltwater dashing down from the glaciers had transformed normally benign streams into charging torrents that demanded respect.’