A glacier is a body of slow-moving ice, at least 1 hectare in area that has persisted for two decades or longer. New Zealand has 3,144 glaciers. Most are located along the Southern Alps on the South Island, although Mount Ruapehu on the North Island supports 18 glaciers.
The annual total glacier ice volume is reported in water equivalents, using the units km3. A value of 0.9 was used to convert an ice volume to a water equivalent volume.
This report differs from earlier reports. The provider used a longer and more recent set of measured mass balance gradient data from the Brewster Glacier rather than data from 1965 to 1975 from the Ivory and Tasman glaciers. Because of this, ice volume estimates will differ between this and earlier reports.
From the dataset Environmental Reporting: Annual glacier ice volumes 2020, this data was extracted:
Provided: 43 data points
Dataset originally released on:
February 23, 2022
About this dataset
This indicator measures the total volume of ice in glaciers greater than one hectare in area throughout New Zealand.
Purpose of collection
Glacier volume is strongly influenced by climate factors, such as temperature and precipitation. Changes in glacier ice volumes give some indication of changing climate conditions in New Zealand.
Method of collection/Data provider
This data was collected by NIWA. Glacier ice volumes originate from the 1978 New Zealand Glacier Inventory and the annual New Zealand glacier snowline survey programme which commenced in 1977. These use the end of summer snowline of 50 index glaciers for determining the annual mass balance of glacier ice, and geodetic survey information for 12 large low-angle debris-covered glaciers.