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Glaciation

Terms

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Ice Sheets
cover areas of continents greater than 50,000km
Ice Caps
smaller and tend to cover only the highest relief
Ice Shelves
floating masses of ice
Valley Glaciers
glaciers confined by valley sides
Cirque Glaciers
small in area and tend to occupy hollows
Piedmont Glaciers
where valley glaciers spill onto lowland areas
Glacier System
balance between inputs and outputs
Inputs
precipitation, avalanches, rock debris, heat energy, melt water
Outputs
sublimation, ablation, sediment, heat energy
Stores
snow, ice, debris
accumulation zone
where accumulation exceeds ablation
ablation zone
where ablation exceeds accumulation
firn line
divides the accumulation zone and ablation zone
annual budget
total ablation for a year- total accumulation for a year
Advance
a growing glacier
Retreat
a contracting glacier
Cold (polar)
high latitude location, low relief, pmp below basal temps, slow rates of movement
Warm (temperate)
high altitude locations, steep relief, pmp at or near basal temps
Basal Sliding
thin film of melt water exists between the ice and the valley floor so friction is reduced; main movement process for warm glaciers
Internal Deformation
main movement process of cold glaciers, which must move by means of internal deformation.

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