Questions Engineering

Why do glaciers move?

Airtract

George Thomason

Aim Above the Mark to Hit the Mark

Glaciers are those formations of the snow which gradually keeps on accumulating on the top of the mountains or rivers due to the high altitude and low temperature and after a long time, it gets transformed to ice. You must be surprised to know that these accumulated ice are not in a static position always and glaciers can move and change their positions, shapes, and features. For this moving characteristic of the glaciers, they are commonly known as the “river of ice.”

As glaciers are comprised of ice and snow, every year they get accumulated and due to extreme pressure and increase in temperature day by day, these some percentage of the ice gets melted and molded which lets them flow downwards and cause the soil to get eroded. In some cases, these moving glaciers are also responsible for creating vast deposition or icy land.

The temperature of the earth is increasing every day and previously while there was a low percentage of snow melting, nowadays, the melting rate is higher than the percentage of ice accumulated. The melted snow flows downhill over a long distance and causes in the plucking and abrasion of the soil particles and rocks finally resulting in erosion. While these particles are carried for a long distance, the flow of the ice gradually slows down, and these particles are deposited in large quantity for several years in a particular area. This is how glaciers cause deposition. The ongoing formation of erosion and deposition shows that glaciers can move.

Besides erosion and deposition, sometimes due to heavy pressure and high temperature, glaciers gradually meltdown in certain positions where it has deep seas or oceans beneath it. While getting accumulated in the seas, they can form icebergs in the water. For eg., Alaska. Even icebergs are that form of a glacier which can change and move due to extreme pressure and thrust of the sea water. This process is called calving.

 The advancement or retreatment of glaciers is massive examples of its movement. Glaciers keep on evaporating and accumulated for which their shapes, position, and deposition gets deformed or changed.

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