Glaciers Essay

902 Words 4 Pages
Glaciers

As many people hear the word glacier they immediately think about the Titanic and how it sank because it ran into a glacier. What many people do not know is the history of glaciers. There are a couple different types of glaciers, for instance the type that the titanic ran into is a Tidewater glacier, which is a glacier that flows in the sea. There are also alpine glaciers which are glaciers that are found in the mountains, and there are Continental glaciers which are associated with the ice ages, and that covers most of the contnents at one time; including Indiana. Glacier ice is the largest amount of fresh water in the world only second to the oceans as the largest reservoir of water total. Glaciers are found on every
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On northern facing slopes it may survive all year, where if it is on a southern facing slope (in the north hemisphere) it may melt because of the sun. If the snow last just one melting season it is considered to be firm. Then the snow accumulates and compacts to become a glacier. The pressure created from the overlying snow compact’s the underlying layers, and the snow grains become larger ice crystals randomly oriented in connected air spaces. These ice crystals can eventually grow to become several centimeters in diameter (Armstrong). As the air spaces in the ice decrease it shows that compression is continuing and the ice crystals are growing. Sometimes the dense ice crystals can tend to look blue.
When the glacier has pressure and the forces of gravity it will begin to move and flow outwards and downwards moving its own weight. Valley glaciers flow down valleys, and continental glaciers (ice sheets) flow outward in all directions from a central point. Glaciers move by internal deformation and/or by sliding at the base. Internal deformation occurs when the weight and mass of a glacier causes it to spread out due to gravity. Sliding occurs when the glacier slides on a thin layer of water at the bottom of the glacier. This water may come from glacial melting due to the pressure of the overlying ice, or from water that has worked its way through cracks in the glacier (Armstrong). When the glacier
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