Following decision made at AECO’s Annual meeting 2013, the associations operational guidelines have been amended. The amendment regards precautions in close vicinity to glacier fronts. The new text includes the following:
Glaciers fronts may calve, causing flood waves and/or flying bits of ice. Keep your distance! Never approach closer than 200 meters from glacier fronts calving into the sea. At some glacier fronts even this may be too close, especially in narrow fjords, shallow fjords and fjords with high cliffs. Show extra caution and always increase the distance to the glacier fronts if the glacier calves in shallow water or on land – use good judgment.
- All glaciers may calve, even if the probability of a glacier calving may differ. E.g. the probability of the Bråsvell glacier calving is much smaller than the Monaco glacier, but still the Bråsvellglacier may calve.
- All zodiacs must keep an appropriate distance (including a buffer zone) away in order to handle a possible calving.
- Avoid being trapped by islands or in brash ice close to the glacier front if a calving should occur.
- Factors that might affect the probability of a calving:
- Glacier front height.
- Water depth in front of the glacier.
- Gradient of the glacier.
- The speed of the glacier front.
- Degree of fracturing in the glacier front.
- Sea and current dynamics under the glacier front.
- Fjord width, sea depth and topography as high cliffs
- AECO’s operational guidelines are available in full text here