Tokisinta Glacier, located in Alaska, has recently started to move forward at nearly three metres a day after decades of relative inactivity. The glacier started to surge in February of 2001. Scientists quite frankly don't understand why this glacier is moving as it is. It's possible that glacier surges can happen when the ice traps meltwater beneath it, but the mechanism isn't understood at this point.
Although the Tokosinta Glacier is moving forward, the toe of the glacier is acting as a plug down in a valley near the Tokositna River, resulting in the glacier buckling like an accordion. It is expected that in months to come, the glacier could reach speeds of up to 10 metres a day. If the 'toe plug' breaks, the glacier could sheer off the line of trees at the glacier's terminus.
Once a glacier starts to surge, it can no longer be used to monitor climate control. Such is the case with Tokositna. In the midst of the continuing debate on global warming, attempts to collect climate data are getting all the research money.
In these days of global warming, one hears much about glaciers melting and receding. Rapidly advancing glaciers are also a very dramatic symptom of global warming.
What I think: the meltwater could be acting as a lubricant for the ice over the bottom rocks. Also, when ice warms up, even slightly, it becomes more flexible and so it might be easier to move so fast. My background isn't in earth sciences, however, so I may be incorrect. /msg me if you have any more ideas.