Glaciers are among the natural phenomena of the earth which can cause erosion and deposition. Before moving into how glaciers form erosion and deposition, let us know what glaciers are. Glaciers are a vast mass of ice which sedimented on the top of the high altitudes of the earth especially the mountains where the temperature is tremendously low. But, with gradual changes in the temperature of the earth for such a long time, it has been found that glaciers are day by day decreasing and melting. In many countries like New York, glaciers are getting dipped, and now the earth has only 11% of it remaining.
The phenomenon of the glacier was not much common in the past as the amount of snow which melted was much less than the deposit of the storm. But now, the situation has become just the opposite. Glaciers occur mainly in two firms- continental and valley, and these are the reasons which are responsible for either erosion or deposition.
When the melted snow start of deposit over large areas of land which is nearer to the altitude, then it forms a continental glacier. Eg., Greenland.
When the melted snow flow for a long distance through the mountains or rivers it forms valley glacier.
How glaciers cause erosion?
You have perhaps read about how a massive flow of water over a plain land causes a soil erosion by abrasion and plucking of the particles. Similarly, the melted snow in the form of glaciers get overflowed through the land and soil, and they cause erosion. Due to such erosion, the solid rock particles of the soil are picked and flowed to a long distance and for a long time which has both a positive as well as an adverse effect on the fertility of the soil.
How glaciers cause deposition?
As you read that glaciers cause erosion by plucking the solid rock particles of the soil and flows to a long distance for a long time; these particles are ultimately deposited at a particular place either a low land or a river or a plain where the flow ends. In this way, the collected particles form a new land or a new structure which gets transformed into fertile soil- this way a glacier causes deposit.
Thus the process of the glacier has both a positive and a negative effect on the earth. On the one hand, when it is causing erosion, on the other hand, it creates a deposit.
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