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How are Glaciers formed and what land forms do they form ?

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Introduction

How are Glaciers formed and what land forms do they form ? A glacier is formed as a result of an accumulation of snow over a long period of time. The snow puts pressure on the lower layers of snow, which then transform into ice. This is because the weight of the top layers of snow compact the snow so tight that an icy layer forms. This process keeps on going on and starts to expand down the valley. This is due to gravity and space. The Glacier will grow in a v-shaped valley which will then erode into a u-shaped valley. For glaciers to develop the temperature has to be always below 0�C. Glaciers are formed when there is an interruption in the hydrological cycle (water cycle). This happens when the rain drops freeze due to the very low temperatures (has to be below 0�C). The rain drops turn into snow and so the whole process begins. Once the glacier is formed and starts to grow down slope, the snout pushes debris and rocks (see erratics) with it. ...read more.

Middle

These are called cirques but are also known as cwns'. When the glacier has retreated, the ice left in the cirque melts forming a lake called Tarn. Nearly all glaciers are found on a pyramidal peak mountain. A very good example of a pyramidal peak is the Matterhorn. Three cirques formed on the three faces of the mountain. As these formed, they wore away the back wall making the slope from the cirque to the peak of the mountain steeper and steeper. This makes the higher part of the face very steep forming a shape very similar to a pyramid. This is why it's called a Pyramidal Peak. When two cirques erode the back wall and join back to back they form a very sharp ridge, only a couple of meters wide. These lead up to the peak of the mountain and are called Ar�tes. When the glacier starts growing down hill or down slope, it follows the easiest path. The easiest path to get from the top of a mountain to the bottom at the mountain is following an already existing valley. ...read more.

Conclusion

Erratics are large boulders which have been carried by the glacier when it was still growing. These masses can be carried for hundreds of kilometers and even across the seas (this only happens during ice ages). A good examples are the rocks found in East Anglia that can only be found in Scandinavia. These masses have been carried by a glacier in the last Ice Age. In the past 10000 years there have been many glaciers which have retreated. This is because they only survived during Ice Ages and when these ended, the air temperature was too high for them to survive. Glaciers could be found in Wales and other similar countries where now they have disappeared. Now glaciers are found in places such as the French and Swiss Alps, Scandinavia, New Zealand etc. (all mentioned in introduction). Many of them are disappearing because of the rise of temperature caused by the Green House effects. If the temperature keeps on rising at this rate, very soon all glaciers will disappear. This is a danger because the glaciers found on the South Pole will melt and cause the sea level to rise which will mean the world will flood. Luca Galbiati Class 10 Geography 12.02.03 - 1 - http://www.glacier.rice.edu/land/sp_sl_gldata_6_hinter.html www.geographyjim.org http://www.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/lemke/alpine_glacial_glossary/images/landform_photos/milford_sound_hanging_valle.jpg ...read more.

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