Glacier ice: discovery and understanding

David J. A. Evans

in Glaciation: A Very Short Introduction

Published in print October 2018 | ISBN: 9780198745853
Published online October 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191808227 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions

Glacier ice: discovery and understanding

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‘Glacier ice: discovery and understanding’ considers how and why glaciers are formed and the history of the study of glaciers, which has enhanced our knowledge. Glacier ice will form wherever the combined effects of precipitation (specifically snow), low temperatures, and topography create the optimum conditions. These optimum conditions are met in regions of high altitude and high latitude, but can be met at high altitudes in equatorial regions and lower altitudes towards the poles. Other conditions must also be satisfied: aspect, relief, and the distance from the nearest moisture source. The balance and equilibrium of glaciers is also explained along with their key features and how they act as archives of climate change.

Keywords: equilibrium; equilibrium line; glacier; Greenland Ice Sheet; Ice Age; ice core; ice stream; Laurentide ice sheet; mass balance; pressure melting point

Chapter.  6371 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Physical Geography and Topography

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