Glaciers and Ice Masses

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  • Created by: Liam Gray
  • Created on: 17-01-13 10:18
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  • Glaciers and Ice Masses
    • Niche Glaciers
      • Niche Glaciers are very small and occupy hollows and gulleys on north-facing slopes in the northern hemisphere.
    • Valley Glaciers
      • Valley Glaciers are larger masses of ice that move down from an icefield or a cirque basin source. Usually follow former river courses. Bounded by steep sides.
    • Corrie/Cirque Glaciers
      • These are larger than Ninche Glaciers but they are small masses of ice occupying "armchair shaped" hollows in the mountains.
    • Piedmont Glaciers
      • Formed when valley glaciers extend onto lowland glaciers and spread out and merge.
    • Ice caps and Ice sheets
      • Huge areas of ice apart from exposed summits of high mountains called Nunataks, the whole landscape is buried.
      • Confined to Antarctica and Greenland
    • Glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate change both short term and long term
    • Glacial Budget / Net Balance
      • Difference between total accumulation and total ablation for one year
    • Glacial Systems
      • Glaciers behave as a system, with inputs, outputs, stores and transfers.
      • Inputs derived from snow falling onto glacier directly.
      • Outputs include evaporation, calving and meltwater streams.
      • Upper Part of Glacier
        • Inputs exceed outputs, zone of accumulation.
      • Lower Part of Glacier
        • Outputs exceed inputs is Zone of Ablation
      • Zone of equilibrium is where the rates of accumulation and ablation are equal


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