The main characteristics of glaciers

General observations Main types of glaciers Glaciers are classifiable in three main groups: Glaciers in the third group are not independent and are treated here in terms of their sources: A complex of mountain glaciers burying much of a mountain range is called an ice field. Created and produced by QA International.

The main characteristics of glaciers

What are the different Types of Glaciers? On the basis of their stage of development, size, shape and the relationship between the supply and flow areas, three types of glaciers have been distinguished.

Mountain or Valley glacier; 2. Valley Glaciers These are also known as Mountain or Alpine- type of glaciers.

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They are confined to the pre-existing valleys in mountain areas and are fed by snow-fields which lie further up, above the snow-line. The ice flows down the mountain valleys with steep slopes to heights determined by the rate of supply from above and the rate of melting as it reaches warmer levels.

They frequently descend below the regional snow-line. The valley glaciers are characterized by a distinctly expressed supply area i.

Glaciers / Glacial Features - Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

According to their characteristic features several kinds of valley glaciers have been distinguished, such as: Apart from the above, the types of glaciers included in the category of valley glaciers are as follows: Cirque Glaciers These glaciers originate in deep arm-chair shaped hollows situated at the valley heads.

They are often at the snow-line and with hardly any flow. Transection Glaciers These are valley glaciers which have become so thick that they spill over dividing ridges and join with other glaciers in adjoining valley.

These are also known as avlanches or Hanging Glaciers. In the case of valley glaciers the topography controls the motion and the movement is in one direction only clown the valley slope mainly due to gravity and the glaciers move several metres a day.

Valley glaciers are common in the young fold mountain areas such as the Alps, Himalayas, Tienshan, Pamirs and Caucasus. The Hubbard glacier in Alaska is the longest valley glacier in the world with a length of about kms.

Most of the Himalayan glaciers are small. The Gangotri glacier is about 24 kms. Peidmont Glacier These are also known as Intermediate type of glaciers. They are intermediate in form as well as origin between the valley glacier and the continental ice-sheets.

Sometimes in colder climates valley glaciers may extend over a low-land and spreads out horizontally. Several glaciers thus unite at the base of a mountain range forming an extensive and comparatively thick sheet of ice covering the low-lying ground.

Such an ice-sheet is called a piedmont glacier. The Malaspina glacier of Alaska is the best known example of piedmont glaciers.

Main types of glaciers

These glaciers are much larger in dimension than the valley glaciers. Their rate of movement is quite slow. In contrast to the formation of ice-sheet at the foot-hill region of a mountain range the intermediate type of glaciers also include the formation of ice-caps on the flattened surfaces of the summits of ancient mountains covering them for hundreds of square kilometres.

These are also called plateau glaciers. Like continental ice-sheets they lie as a continuous mass covering a huge area on the plateau and in moving from the centre to the margins, these glaciers emerge through river-valleys and resemble mountain glaciers.

Such glaciers are common in Scandinavia Norway and are therefore sometimes referred to as Scandinavian-glaciers. Continental Glaciers or Ice-Sheets These are the largest forms of accumulation of ice and they cover vast areas of the landmass including even the cliffs of mountains. At present they occur mostly in Antarctica and Greenland.

These glaciers are of enormous size and immensely thick. The topography has little or no control over the movement of such ice- sheets. The surface of the ice-sheets has a plain-convex shape which resembles a shield.

Their shape is not controlled by the bottom relief. Unlike the valley glaciers, they do not have distinctly separate supply and drainage area.

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The movement of ice is radial. The movement of the ice is in many directions from points of high pressure within the ice-sheet towards the margin.Learn about the two major types of glaciers: continental and alpine glaciers. What Are Glaciers? - Definition, Types & Processes.

The main characteristics of glaciers

What Are Glaciers? - Definition, Types & Processes Related. Arête landforms have 3 main characteristics: Sharp ridge of rock; On a mountain; Formed by glaciers; Example of an Arête Landform: Garden Wall, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.

The main characteristics of glaciers

What is an Arête Landform? An arête is a sharp ridge of rock that is formed between glacially created valleys. The ridge is then made more defined through. A characteristic feature of glaciers is their ability to flow.

When sufficient ice gets piled up, it exerts substantial pressure on the ice in the lower layers and it acquires plastic properties What is the Characteristic Feature of Glaciers? Main types of glaciers. Formation and characteristics of glacier ice Transformation of snow to ice. Glacier ice is an aggregate of irregularly shaped, interlocking single crystals that range in size from a few millimetres to several tens of centimetres.

Many processes are involved in the transformation of snowpacks to glacier ice, and they. of the glaciers, the losses in area, thinning of the glaciers, and fragmentation of tributary glaciers from the main glacier are observed. Thus, the number of glaciers increases unlike an area of.

Glaciologists have identified different types of glaciers based on their characteristics. For example, a glacier that remains confined within valley walls is a valley glacier. If it flows out of the valley and spreads out onto lowlands, it is a piedmont glacier.

Glacier Features: Glacier terminus | National Snow and Ice Data Center