What is a glacier

What is a glacier

Glaciers are the huge mass of ice located on poles in the most northern or southern latitudes or it is high in mountains. In them the most part of fresh water is concentrated on Earth. There is a set of types of glaciers, and some of them won popularity thanks to their special properties.


The word "glacier" is formed by analogy with the French word "glasi" which, in turn, has Latin origin and means "ice". The glacier is a huge congestion of eternal ice most of which often slowly moves on the Earth's surface, moving under the influence of own weight. Only that ice masses which exist already rather long time can be called a glacier. They are formed in places where air temperature seldom increases above a mark of 0 wasps. Snow, a sleet and other precipitation accumulate, forming a glacier, and thawing happens more slowly, than ice accumulation. The glacier is formed very slowly, decades and centuries, gradually. Huge masses is as a result formed of very solid, pressed ice: on the characteristics it strongly differs from the usual ice which is formed on a surface of reservoirs. Process of formation of ice is called a glyatsiation, and studies these processes and everything that is connected with glaciers, science glaciology.

Glaciers differ in a form and the sizes and also on other features. Allocate glaciers of slopes, tops, valleys, integumentary, gornopokrovny, shelf and many other types. Geophysical classification divides this mass of ice into polar, subpolar and moderate – depending on their climatic situation.

The best-known glaciers

The most part of glaciers on our planet is located on poles, but some exist also in tropical belts – in mountainous areas. Glaciers meet on all continents, except Australia. They are formed at very big heights, usually it is higher than 5-6 thousand meters above sea level. Glaciers cover almost all Greenland – to 75% of its area – and all Antarctica. In the most southern continent the greatest number of ice – the largest reserve of fresh water is concentrated on the planet. There are glaciers up to 5 thousand meters thick. At the coast of Antarctica, ice constantly separates from the massif and forms icebergs. Other well-known glaciers are widespread on all planet. Baltoro – one of the most known as it differs in the greatest extent: length is about 62 kilometers. There is Baltoro in Pakistan, it is surrounded with mountains Karakorum and located at the height of 3400 meters above sea level. The glacier of Kilimanjaro does not differ in either the sizes, or any other features. But this unique phenomenon – it is located near the equator, in the heart of Africa. There is it at top of the highest African Mount Kilimanjaro. Scientists found out that it was formed more than eleven thousand years ago, but today because of warming it gradually decreases. Now its area is about two square kilometers.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team