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Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

What are some major similarities and some major differences between continental and alpine glaciers?

To determine

Some of the major similarities and some major differences between continental and alpine glaciers.

Explanation

“Glaciers are streams or sheets of recrystallized ice that flow gradually under the influence of gravity and lasts entire year”. Based on their relation to topography and on their area, they are of two types namely; mountain glaciers, which are formed in hilly regions and continental glaciers (Ice sheets) which are formed over the continental areas.

Alpine glaciers: Alpine glaciers are confined to high altitudes, i.e., the Mountains and flow down the valley. In general, they flow from higher altitude to lower altitude.  Example: Alps & Himalayas. There are three types of alpine glaciers, namely cirque, valley, and piedmont glaciers. Alpine glaciers grow constantly in cold temperatures below the freezing point. They are shorter in length, ranging from few hundred meters to a few hundred kilometers long. They move due to gravity and pressure. The mechanism involved in their movements are internal plastic deformation (plastic flow) that occurs within the ice itself because of the weight of the glacier (the force of gravity). Many glaciers in more temperate environments also move by slipping along their base when water is present (basal sliding), and by local melting, downslope flow, and refreezing of water along the base of the glacier...

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