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Glaciers A glacier is a huge mass of ice on land or floating in the sea next to land. Glaciers move extremely slowly. Regions with continuous snowfall and freezing temperatures are the perfect place for glaciers. It is so cold that when a snowflake hits the ground it does not melt, it combines with other snowflakes to form large grains of ice. As it snows more, the weight and pressure squeeze these grains of ice together to form a glacier. Most glaciers form in high mountain regions such as the Himalayas or the Alps. Glaciers are also found in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Alaska, and the Andes of South America. Glaciers cover about 10% of Earths land and hold around 77% of Earths freshwater. There are two types of glaciers. They are alpine and continental. Most glaciers that form in a mountain are alpine glaciers. There are several types of alpine glaciers. Crique: A crique is a bowl shped hollow at the head of a valley. Inside there is a snowfield, this is the place where snow accumulates to form a cirque glacier. Valley: A glacier that is in an area eroded by a stream is called a valley glacier. Piedmont: A piedmont glacier is formed when multiple vally glaciers come together as a large stretch of flat line. Tidewater: A tidewater glacier is a glacier that meets the sea. A process called Calving occurs when a piece of the glacier breaks off into the sea forming a large mass of floating ice known as an iceburg. Continental glaciers are expansive continuous masses of ice bigger than an alpine glacier. There are three primary subtypes: Ice Sheet: Ice sheets are the largest types of glaciers , extending over 50,000 square kilometers. Antarctia and Greenland are the places who have these monsters. Anarctica is home to 90% of all glaciers worldwide. Ice sheets are so heavy that they bend the continental crust, a phenomena known as isostatic depression. Ice Cap: Ice caps are similar to an ice sheet. They are smaller and forming a roughly circular dome like structure that blankets the landscape underneath. Ice Field: An ice field is a smaller version of an ice cap that doesn’t cover the land and is elongated relative to the underlying topography. Glacial Movement: Sliders and creepers are the two types of glacial movement. Sliders travel along a thin film of water located on the bottom of the glscier; creepers form internal layers of ice crystals that move past one another based on the surrounding conditions. Glaciers move slowly, a couple hundred feet per year. A heavier glacier moves faster than a lighter one. With temperatures rising worldwide, there is a common fear that glaciers will begin to melt, releasing large amounts of water. T he Oceanic process we have adapted to will change, and the consequences are unknown. intern/a/glaciers.htm

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