Glaciers as Systems

Notes about basic glaciation

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Amie
  • Created on: 06-06-10 13:49
Preview of Glaciers as Systems

First 211 words of the document:

Glaciers as Systems
A Glacier behaves like a system with:
Glaciers originate from heavy
snowfalls over a prolonged period
of time. The snow initially has
many air spaces between the
flakes. Over time the weight of
new snow above it compacts it
all, squeezing the air out of the
spaces. This compaction causes
some of the snow to become
freezing water that binds the
compacted snow together even
more, creating ice. As the air is
squeezed out of the ice it will
turn a slight shade of blue.
The Ice Budget
A glacier will grow and retreat depending upon how much precipitation is inputted into the glacier system.
During a single year a valley glacier may well both grow and retreat depending on the rate of accumulation
compared to the rate of ablation. This is called the ice budget or glacial budget.
When the rate of accumulation is greater than the rate of ablation the glacier will grow, this is called a positive
When the rate of accumulation is less that the rate of ablation, the glacier will retreat. This is called a negative

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Freeze thaw Weathering
Produces jagged rocks
During the day water enters cracks in the rock. Overnight the temperature drops and the water
freezes. As it freezes, it expands. The expanded ices places pressure on the rock, which over time
causes the rock to crack and split.
Leaves rocks ideal for plucking
Produces a smooth surface
Acts like sandpaper
Glaciers carry a large amount of moraine with the.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all resources »