Glaciers act as agents of erosion and deposition to help to create unique landforms which you will study in this unit Glacier: A large mass of ice resting on land or floating as an ice shelf in the sea adjacent to land
Ice: An Agent of Erosion as permanent snow cover increases in thickness, the underlying layers of snow are transformed into ice by tremendous pressure exerted by snow on top
large volumes of ice behave like plastic and under great pressure they begin to flow out in tongues the weight and abrasive power of these glaciers changes the landscape
during last 1 000 000 years, scientists estimate that there have been four glacial advances with the last one ending approximately 10 000 years ago
Volcanic eruptions send a layer of ash and dust around the earth in the atmosphere. Solar radiation from the sun is partially blocked resulting in cooling
A reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reduces the earth's ability to absorb long wave radiation being emitted by the surface. Therefore, not as much heat is trapped by the atmosphere
The amount of energy emitted by the sun has cyclic variations. Glaciation coincides with periods of reduced solar activity.
Changes in the tilt of the earth's axis as well as changes in its orbit
Glacial flow is caused by glacial creep and basal sliding.
Glacial Creep due to the tremendous weight and pressure of the glacier, the ice becomes pliable and flows - it flows fastest in the middle of the glacier where it is thickest (i.e. internal flow)
Basal Sliding - movement along the bottom of the glacier due to the warmth of the earth and internal streams This generally only happens in temperate based glaciers, such as in the Alps, where the ground is warmer, allowing the ice to melt
The rapid, lurching, unexpected forward movement of a glacier. A build up of water pressure under the glacier is a cause
Accumulation and ablation Ablation is the wasting or loss of material from a glacier. If accumulation > ablation, the tip of the glacier advances If accumulation = ablation, the tip of the glacier is stationary If accumulation < ablation, the tip of the glacier retreats
Abrasion: is the mechanical scraping of a rock surface by friction between rocks and moving particles during their transport by wind, glacier, waves, gravity, running water or erosionfrictionwind glacierwavesgravitywater Striations: a scratch or groove cut into the surfaces of bedrock by boulders and pebbles frozen into the bottom of a glacier.
Glacial Plucking: a process by which sections of the rock, frozen to the bottom of the glacier, are pulled out of place and carried away as ice advances.
Cold Temperatures Summer blanket of snow Glaciers can only form where snowfalls exceed the annual melting over long periods of time Compacted ice crystals that have not yet been pressed into solid mass form what is called a firn
Features Produced by Alpine Glaciation Cirques Cirque Mountain, Labrador