Facts about glaciers

March 8, 2012 | In: Nature Facts

glaciers factsWhen we think about glaciers, we automatically fit The Titanic into the picture. But I’m sure there are a bunch of people that don’t know much about the glaciers. Let’s begin.

Glaciers are flowing masses of ice, created by snowfall and cold temperatures. Approximately 10% of the earth is covered by glaciers, including Antarctica and parts of Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Russia, and Alaska. Mountainous regions on most of the continents also contain glaciers. Glaciers have the power to reshape the face of Earth. Even today, glaciers are altering how our planet looks, and if we could take some time to study them, they’d sure tell us more about the prehistoric age.
As I said, a glacier is formed only on cold surfaces, where it doesn’t get warm enough to get melted. And depending on that, there are many types of glaciers. Here are the 3 most common:

Glaciers that flow: they come down from mountains, and take everything in their way, ending up in a Sea or Ocean. In the European Alps there are more than 1200 valley glaciers.

Piedmont glaciers: Also known as lakes of ice, piedmont glaciers form when a valley glacier reaches the lowlands or plain at the foot of a mountain and spreads out. They’re usually found in larger ice areas, like Antarctica, Iceland or Alaska.

The largest form of glacier is The Continental Glacier. It’s basically a huge ice sheet that moves outward from its center. The largest continental glacier is in Antarctica, where the thickness of the ice is almost 2,5 miles(4 km). It covers more than 5 million square miles(13 million square km). It contains more water than al of the lakes and rivers in Europe.

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