cryoconite

noun cry·oc·o·nite \krīˈäkəˌnīt\

Definition of cryoconite

plural

-s

  1. :  dust that is found on the surface of a glacier (such as the Greenland ice cap) especially on the bottom of small depressions and is formed as a result of differential melting of the ice

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Origin and Etymology of cryoconite

borrowed from Swedish kryokonit, from Greek krýos “icy cold, frost” + kónis “dust, ashes” + Swedish -it 1-ite — more at cryo-, incinerate Term introduced by the Finland-Swedish geologist and explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901) in “Redogörelse för en expedition till Grönland år 1870” (“Meddelad den 15 December 1870”), Öfversigt af Kongliga Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar, No. 10, 27. årgång (1870), Stockholm, 1871, p. 998. Kryokonite appears in English in Nordenskiöld's translation of his report, in “Account of an expedition to Greenland in the year 1870. Part II,” The Geological Magazine, vol. 9 (1872), p. 356.


First Known Use: 1872


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