Free Essay

Glaciers

In: Other Topics

Submitted By jeanree4155
Words 486
Pages 2
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.

http://geography.about.com/od/geography intern/a/glaciers.htm

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Glaciers

...Glaciers by Crystal Sweet Rasmussen College Author’s Note This paper is being submitted for Introduction to Geology course at Rasmussen College to Dr. Nikki Strong on June 16, 2013, by Crystal Sweet. When you think fresh water what comes to mind? Perhaps a bottle of water or a stream that is so clear you can see the bottom, did you ever think of glaciers? Glaciers actually store up to 75% of our fresh water (NSIDC, 2013). This natural occurrence has happened many years and at one time it actually had covered up to 32% (NSIDC, 2013) of the earth which occurred when there was an ice age. Figure [ 1 ]: Layers of Glaciers (http://whatdoino-steve.blogspot.com/2012/03/niveolian-art.html) Figure [ 1 ]: Layers of Glaciers (http://whatdoino-steve.blogspot.com/2012/03/niveolian-art.html) Glaciers are all over the world the only place that doesn’t have glaciers is Australia. You may not believe it but even Africa has glaciers. Glaciers start out as snowflakes but need to have the right environment to grow into a glacier. Most are found in areas that have large amounts of snow fall in the winters and the warm seasons stay cool so the snow doesn’t melt completely. So the snow from the winter starts to melt but does not completely melt, then it forms into ice and new snowfalls on the layer of ice that winter; this circle keeps happening and the glaciers grow and eventually start to move because of its own weight. They can be as small as a football field or as enormous as......

Words: 2470 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Glacier

...Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Glacier Glacier, any large mass of perennial ice that originates on land by the recrystallization of snow or other forms of solid precipitation and that shows evidence of past or present flow. Exact limits for the terms large, perennial, and flow cannot be set. Except in size, a small snow patch that persists for more than one season is hydrologically indistinguishable from a true glacier. One international group has recommended that all persisting snow and ice masses larger than 0.1 square kilometre (about 0.04 square mile) be counted as glaciers. Glaciers are classifiable in three main groups: (1) glaciers that extend in continuous sheets, moving outward in all directions, are called ice sheets if they are the size of Antarctica or Greenland and ice caps if they are smaller; (2) glaciers confined within a path that directs the ice movement are called mountain glaciers; and (3) glaciers that spread out on level ground or on the ocean at the foot of glaciated regions are called piedmont glaciers or ice shelves, respectively. Glaciers in the third group are not independent and are treated here in terms of their sources: ice shelves with ice sheets, piedmont glaciers with mountain glaciers. A complex of mountain glaciers burying much of a mountain range is called an ice field. Distribution of glaciers A most interesting aspect of recent geological time (some 30 million years ago to the present) has been the recurrent expansion and......

Words: 927 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Mexico Glacier

...------------------------------------------------- Mexico glacier melting quickly due to global warming Mexico, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Glaciers that crown a Mexican volcano could disappear by 2015 with scientists pointing to global warming as a chief cause of their demise. Until recently, the glacial field on Iztaccihuatl, a dormant volcano and one of two white-capped peaks that can be seen from Mexico City, was expected to be gone within a few decades. Like in 2007 scientists said that the glacier is supposed to disappear in 2020. But studies show rising world temperatures are melting the glaciers faster than previously thought, said Hugo Delgado, a glaciologist at Mexico City's UNAM university who thinks the massive blocks of ice will be gone within four years. "What we've seen at Iztaccihuatl is an intense period of glacial retreat in the last few years, which has changed the picture," Delgado said. Scientists generally believe global warming is caused by large amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. Heat radiating from the sprawling, concrete-covered metropolis of Mexico City nearby is also contributing to the disappearance of the glaciers. Iztaccihuatl has one of two glacial fields left in Mexico, which are among the world's few tropical glaciers. Glaciers in the tropics can only exist on the cold peaks of tall mountains and are much smaller than their cousins closer to the poles. The number of glaciers on Iztaccihuatl has......

Words: 327 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Alpine Glacier Reconstruction

...UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA Last Time Glaciers and Glacial Mechanics • • Types of glaciers (alpine) Formation of glacial ice • Movement of ice GY 301: Geomorphology Lecture 22: Glacial Geomorphology 1: Alpine Glaciers http://www.roberts-1.com/t/s07 Glaciers Glaciers are thick masses of ice that originate on land through the accumulation of snow. Glaciers Glaciers are thick masses of ice that originate on land through the accumulation of snow. Glaciers form through a 3 step process Snow Firn Glacial Ice All that is required is for more snow to fall in the cold winter months than melts in the warm summer months. http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/25/4a/ee/in-the-mountains-above.jpg http://www.ig.utexas.edu Alpine Glaciers Alpine or Valley Glaciers (Zone of Accumulation; Zone of Wasting/Ablation, Calving,) Ice Movement Ice moves down slope from the zone of accumulation to the zone of ablation due to a combination of plastic flow and basal slip. http://www.scienceclarified.com/images/uesc_05_img0282.jpg http://stloe.most.go.th/html/lo_index/LOcanada3/305/images/5_2.jpg http://nevis.k12.mn.us/academics/science/glacier_hor_profile1.jpg 1 Ice Movement Ice moves down slope from the zone of accumulation to the zone of ablation due to a combination of plastic flow and basal slip. Slip Geological Effects of Glaciers Ice exerts tremendous erosive force on bedrock forming unique geomorphologic features and transporting...

Words: 789 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Deserts, Glaciers, and Climate

...Desert and Glacial Landscape There are several types of desert landforms; they include, but are not limited to mesas, plateaus, buttes, blowouts, and dunes. The desert landscape is shaped mainly by two forces: wind and water. Landforms in the desert, such as plateaus, buttes, and mesas are the product of weathering and erosion but are also a direct product of rock structure. Rocks of altering density and strengths will wear away at various rates. In time, this will create the astonishing structures that we see in the deserts. These rock structures are likely to have angular features because of the lack of rain in a desert setting. The lack of rain also means that there is little chemical weathering associated with rainfall. We typically do not associate rainfall with the desert, but when it does rain, flooding can easily happen and these flash floods will cut gullies and scarps into the landscape. Sand dunes are also a very common sight in a desert. These are created by winds that blow the sand around and eventually deposit them into different formations. Sand can travel many miles during the course of a year and can be devastating to anything in its path. Dunes can take on many shapes and characteristics. They include dome, crescentic, linear, star, parabolic, Seif, transverse, and reversing dunes. The shape and characteristic of the aforementioned dunes are dependent on the interaction with the wind. Silt and sand deposited by the wind is......

Words: 1186 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

How and Why Do Glaciers Move?

...How and why do Glaciers move? Glaciers are large masses of ice that are continuously changing and may be perceived as an open system with inputs and outputs. They take up 10% of the world’s total land area and are usually found in Polar Regions like Antarctica and Greenland and places where there are high altitudes and low latitudes. Fresh falling snow is made up of tiny ice crystals and after it lands it changes into solid ice. Newly fallen snow is light and porous, but as the snow becomes buried by more snow, the snowflakes change into granular ice called firn. As time passes the firn gets buried further causing the weight above it to compress it into solid ice. The force of gravity and the pressure of the ice cause the glacier to move downhill. The ice mass will stay stationary until it reaches a certain amount of thickness and when the ice reaches this amount of thickness, the pressure becomes great enough to cause the glacier to deform and move. The ice will move away from where there is the most pressure (thickest part of the glacier). Glaciers can retreat or advance depending on the amount of snow accumulation and ablation that occurs from year to year. If accumulation exceeds ablation, then the mass of the glacier will increase which causes the glacier to advance. If the snout moves to an area of lower latitude ablation will increase and eventually equilibrium will be re-established. Retreating and advancing of glaciers are very slow processes and takes......

Words: 762 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Examine How Glaciers Operate as a System

...“Examine how glaciers operate as system”(25) Glaciers are moving bodies of ice which can form at high latitude and/or altitudes across the world. Glaciers can be described as systems as they have inputs, output, stores and flows within them; this is what makes up a system. Topics to be discussed are glacial inputs, outputs, it’s mass balance at a cold and warm base glacier as well as how a system may be altered due to the climate change in the atmosphere of the glacier. Glaciers can vary in movement distance however within a surge, a glacier can move up to 300m per day. Within a glacial system, there are inputs, outputs, stores and flows. The inputs within a glacier could be: any form of precipitation, gravity, insolation, melt water from other glaciers as well is rock debris. An example of a store within a glacier may be air pockets within the structure of the glacier and a flow/transfer of a glacier would be: streams or lakes and melt water transferring. Lastly, an output of a glacier may be: lakes, melt water in liquid form and sediment. The mass balance of a glacier is the relationship between the inputs and outputs within the seasons of a year. Within the winter, there’s a high accumulation curve, where inputs are high through precipitation as well as a low ablation curve which is the outputs of melting; this causes the glacier to be at its most gaining period. However, in summer this is where the ablation is at its highest as well as the accumulation is at it least...

Words: 1058 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

How Do Glaciers Affect Hydrosphere

...First off, to understand how glaciers have an impact on the hydrosphere you need to know what a glacier is. Glaciers, (also known as Icebergs when they break off of the main glacier and float on water) are a body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight; it forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds, it grows over many years, often centuries. Although some of these parts of glaciers may float on salt water or the ocean they are made up of fresh water. Now, to truly understand glaciers lets go back to the beginning of a glacier. Moist warm air rises up from the ocean and then cools, condenses and falls down onto the ground as rain or snow. You need lots of snow to create a glacier, more than a mountain...

Words: 581 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Glaciers

...nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/rising-seas/if-ice-melted-map) • The current sea-level rise is about 3mm/year Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/current_sea_level_rise Some examples of glaciers on Earth • Arctic Sea Ice › Location: Arctic Ocean › has shrunk by 6 percent since 1978 with a 14 percent loss of thicker, year-round ice. Has thinned by 40 percent in less than 30 years. • Greenland Ice Sheets › Location: Greenland › has thinned by more than a meter a year on its southern and eastern edges since 1993. • Columbia Glacier › Location: Alaska, U.S. › has retreated nearly 13 kilometres since 1982. In 1999, retreat rate increased from 25 metres per day to 35 metres. Physics SPECIFIC LATENT HEAT (L) - the specific latent heat of a material is the amount if heat required to chance the state if 1 kilogram of the material without changing its temperature. (Unit: J/kg) • Specific latent heat (L)- 334 kJ/kg • Heat required to change the state of ice to liquid (Q)- 8.037042 x 1024 J Sources: Lf – www.engineeringtoolbox.com/latent-heat-melting-solids-d_96.html Q – I calculated it. In this presentation we will be talking about ICE. Which is one of the 3 states water can be. This presentation will focus on the environmental and social consequences that we would face if all the glaciers on earth would melt. We will talk about how much ice there is on earth, where they can be found and the ways we can do to minimise the melting of ice. We will......

Words: 367 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Cold Environments

...the Earth’s surface but has retreated to the polar regions. * Accumulation: the net gain in an ice mass. The sources of accumulation are direct snowfall and avalanching from higher slopes. * Sublimation: a transition from the solid state to gas with no intermediate liquid stage. * Ablation: the process of wastage of snow or ice, especially by melting. * Steady State: when the amounts of accumulation and ablation are equal over the course of a year. As a result, the snout of the glacier will remain stationary. * Surge: a short-lived phase of accelerated glacier flow. * Pressure Melting Point (PMP): the temperature at which ice under pressure will melt. * Extensional Flow: also known as extending flow, this is the extension and related thinning of glacier ice in those zones where velocity increases. * Compressional Flow: also known as compressing flow, this is the type of glacier flow whereby a reduction in velocity leads to an increase in thickness of a glacier. * Weathering: the breakdown of rocks in situ (in their original location, without them being moved away). This produces finer particles that can then be moved by agents of erosion such as wind and running water. The Global Distribution of Cold Environments: Ice Ages: * Begin as a result of global climatic changes. *...

Words: 7946 - Pages: 32

Free Essay

Esci 1040 Test 2

...ESCI 1040 Test 2 Due March 29, 2011 Directions: Answer the following questions in your own words using your text (ch 7-10 and 12). Several of the questions refer to multiple chapters. Please keep in mind that because this is a take-home, open book test, your answers should demonstrate that you understand the material. Your answers should be well thought out, complete yet succinct, well written, with references cited. This is not a group effort; please make sure your work is your own. Please be careful with the use of images, if you do not explain your images you will receive no credit for them. Please e-mail me the test completed, including the multiple choice questions that follow the essay/shot answer questions, as a doc, docx or pdf file. Good Luck! 1. Differentiate between relative and absolute dating. List, define and discuss the principles used to define relative age. Discuss isotopic dating: what atomic particles are involved, what are some common isotopes that are used, and what are some uses of isotopic dating? Be sure to explain the calculation of the age of a rock. Relative dating is telling us the age of something compared to that of the substances around it, more plainly stated the sequence of events. Absolute dating tells how old something is, an amount of time can be associated with an object unlike in relative dating. There are four stratigraphy principles used to determine geologic history of a locality or a region: 1) original......

Words: 4905 - Pages: 20

Free Essay

Geography Cheat Sheet

...Geography Test 4 Cheat Sheet Mineral- inorganic naturally occurring substance with a distinct chemical formula and a distinct crystalline form Rock-Aggregate of multiple grains of the same minerals Earth’s crust is made up of 8 elements oxygen 47% silicon 28% Al 8% Fe 5% Calcium 3.6% Sodium 2.8% Potassium 2.7% Magnesium 2% Every mineral has physical characteristics that aid in identification Hardness scale 1-10 chalk (1) and diamond (10) Luster-How shiny Cleavage-how it breaks Rocks are held together by a chemical bond Most common is oxygen and silica SiO2 which has 92% of the Earth’s crust. Granite is silicate. CaCO3 limestone forms in warm waters 3 types of rocks: Igneous- molten rock that has cooled and solidified Felsic- rock that is light color and light weight Mafic- heavy rocks are dark given it has a lot of metal Sedimentary-derive from accumulated sediment fragment of rocks ex: limestone, clay, silt, sand, gravel, and boulder Metamorphic- rock that has been changed and does not go into an igneous state Limestone=marble Sandstone-quartzite Fluvial process- River process Igneous(cools fast)- small crystal Igneous(cools slow)- large crystals Sedimentary- erodes, is transported, and later becomes rocks, sandstone and metamorphic (crystalline structure changed due to heat and pressure) Erosion- Process by which particles are separated from original site and deposit at a new site Arid and semiarid- wind and water are the main sources of......

Words: 1078 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Global Warming: the Natural Phenomenon

...is adding to the earth’s greenhouse gases. The resulting affect of global warming is triggering warmer temperatures around the world, and ecosystems are taking the toll. One of the most publicized looming catastrophes is the plight of the polar bears. Once the glaciers are gone, the polar bear will be extinct in the wild. Although, scientists say it is caused by the pollution that humans are creating, global warming is a natural phenomenon. Snow capped mountains are a wondrous sight to behold, and can be found on every continent. But, these massive ice shelf’s have a purpose that many people take for granted. Many people do not realize that glaciers are responsible for part of the world’s water supply. Revkin (2003) states “The melting is likely to threaten water supplies in places like Peru and Nepal” (¶ 19). The result from the melting glaciers will raise water levels and potentially create devastating floods over time. The eventual outcome that these countries will face once the glaciers are gone is drought. Many communities are also dependent on hydroelectric dams and water reservoirs to create electricity. Once the glaciers are gone then what? Scientists think that without water from the glaciers to create electricity, these communities that are so dependent on the hydroelectric dams will need to use coal or oil to create the necessary...

Words: 2039 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Arctic Sea Ice To Melt

...First of all with Climate Change it changes the temperature of even one of the coldest part’s of the world, which causes Arctic Sea Ice to melt. Since 1979 the Arctic sea ice has declined .Each decade the Arctic sea ice is declining by 13.3 percent per decade (NASA, 2017). Study shows that in the next 100 years or sooner the world’s glaciers will have disappeared as will the polar ice cap, and the huge Antarctic ice shelf. Scientist believe that snow will become a rare phenomenon at what are now the world’s most popular ski resorts. (National Climate Assessment, 2012). This shows how much Climate Change can affect even the coldest parts of the world to where it would cost the ice to melt. With the Climate Change melting the glaciers,...

Words: 280 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Research

...There is a lot of concern about global warming, all around us changes are occurring and they are effecting things in negative ways. Global warming is melting the ice and glaciers it’s beginning to cause some very negative changes and the sad thing is that everyone is blaming it on humans. Enviromentalist Andrew C. Revkin and Vice President Al Gore warn the dangers of melting ice from global warming, while professor Philip Stott claims that their warning is an overblown myth. I believe global warming is a important matter but a over dramatic topic. In the article “Global warming is not a threat to a polar ice” Philip Stott explains that global warming is not happening because of human activity. He believes this is just a cycle of mother nature. Stott suggests that the world was going to go through global warming anyway but none of it was our fault. I agree with most of what He states because there is natural causes that lead to this thing we call global warming. It should not be blamed on mainly human activity and to be honest we cannot stop global warming we can only slow it down maybe. He states “Those who believe that human-cause global warming is a serious problem often point to change polar ice as proof of their theory. Stott 419. Stott is saying that people who think humans are the leading to cause to global warming Is a problem, he thinks they are just being dramatic and over exaggerating this myth. I agree with Stott’s opinion on global warming. I also have my...

Words: 876 - Pages: 4