All processes that remove snow, ice, or water from a glacier, snowfield, etc.; in this sense, the opposite of accumulation.
These processes include melting, evaporation, calving, wind erosion, and an avalanche. Air temperature is the dominant factor in controlling ablation, precipitation amounts exercising only secondary control. During the ablation season (usually summer), an ablation rate of about 2 mm h-1 is typical of glaciers in a temperate climate.
The amount of snow or ice removed by the above-described processes; in this sense, the opposite of accumulation.