Ice on the Land

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What is the name of the last ice age?
The Pleistocene
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How long ago did the last ice age end?
10,000 years ago
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What percentage of the Earth's land surface is currently covered by ice?
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What three types of evidence are used to identify past temperature changes?
1. Chemical evidence 2. Geological evidence 3. Fossil evidence
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Define the term accumulation
The input of snow of ice into the glacier
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What is the zone of ablation?
The lower part of the glacier where there is more ablation than accumulation
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What happens when a glacier has a positive glacial budget?
It advances
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Why does a glacier retreat during the summer?
This is because it is warmer in the summer, so there is more ablation than accumulation; therefore, the glacial budget is negative, so the glacier retreats
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Give an example of a retreating glacier
The Rhone Glacier
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What evidence is there that this glacier has retreated since the 19th century?
1. Pictures 2. Monitoring data shows that the length of the glacier has decreased 3. The meltwater has created a lake in front of the glacier which is increasing in size
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Explain why this glacier has retreated
1. Global warming has caused more ablation, so the glacier is retreating more rapidly in the past century 2. The temperature in Switzerland has increased by 1.8 degrees C, and since Switzerland has no coastline there is no cooling effect on the land
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What is rotational slip?
It is when the top end of the glacier moves in a circular motion, which can hollow in the landscape and deepen them into bowl shapes
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Explain what freeze-thaw weathering is
It is where water gets into cracks in rocks. The water freezes and expands, putting pressure on the rock. The ice then thaws, releasing the pressure. The process repeats, causing pieces of rock to fall off
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Explain the formation of a corrie
They begin as hollows in a mountain containing a small glacier. As the ice moves by rotational slip, it erodes the hollow into a steep-sided, armchair shape with a lip at the bottom end. When the ice melts it can leave a small lake called a tarn
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What is a pyramidal peak?
It is a pointed mountain peak with at least three sides (formed by at least three corries back-to-back)
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Give an example of a pyramidal peak
Snowdon in Wales
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How does a hanging valley form?
The glacial trough is eroded by much more deeply by the large glacier than the tributary glaciers, so when the glaciers melt the valleys are left at a higher level
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What is bulldozing?
It is when the glacier pushes loose material in front of it
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Give one difference between lateral and ground moraine
Lateral moraine is deposited where the side of the glacier was, whereas ground moraine is deposited over a large area when the glacier melts
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Where is medial moraine deposited?
In the centre of the valley where two glacier (and two lateral moraines) met
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Describe the shape of a drumlin
They are round, blunt and steep at the upstream end, and tapered, pointed and gently sloping at the downstream end
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How would you identify a pyramidal peak on a map?
A pyramidal peak has tightly packed contour likes that curve away from a central high point
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Describe what a glacial trough looks like on a map
They are flat valleys with very steep sides, so there are no contour lines on the bottom of the valley but they're tightly packed on the sides
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Give an example of a glacial trough
Nant Ffrancon in Snowdonia
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What does a ribbon lake look like on a map?
It looks like a long, straight lake surrounded by a flat valley with steep sides
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Give one reason why areas covered in ice and snow are fragile environments
There's only a short growing season so plants don't have much time to recover if they're damaged
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Give a social impact of tourism on areas covered in snow and ice
Tourists can trigger avalanches on ski slopes which can cause injuries and death
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Describe two environmental impacts of tourism on areas covered in snow and ice
1. Glacial landforms like moraines are eroded by people walking on them 2. There's increased noise, pollution and litter from the tourists and traffic in the area
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Give an example of an area in the Alps used for winter sports and sightseeing of glaciers
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Describe one economic impact of tourism in this area
The tourism industry creates lots of jobs, e.g. 2,500 people work as seasonal workers every year
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Describe one environmental impact of this area
Large numbers of tourists cause a lot of traffic, which increases pollution
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Give two management strategies used in this area
1. More avalanche barriers have been set up, and there are avalanche awareness courses 2. Free public transport has been offered to reduce the amount of traffic and pollution
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Name an industry affected by glacial retreat
Winter sports
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Explain one economic impact of glacial retreat
Once the glacier has melted, the amount of meltwater will decrease. This means that industries that rely on the supply of meltwater will make less money and may shut down
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Explain one social impact of glacial retreat
Disruptions to power supplies from HEP could leave some people with an unreliable power supply
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


How long ago did the last ice age end?


10,000 years ago

Card 3


What percentage of the Earth's land surface is currently covered by ice?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What three types of evidence are used to identify past temperature changes?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Define the term accumulation


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