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Lecture 21

GPHY 102 Lecture 21: L21

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GPHY 102
Ryan K Danby

Lecture 21 Glaciers Glacial Processes Glaciers Form when snowfall exceeds melt over successive years (accumulation exceeds ablation) o accumulation precipitation itself (buildup of snow) o ablation melting of snow to reduce its quantity Snow compacts and compresses into ice with a density of ~ 850 kgm3 (compare to snow at 50 300 kgm3 ) Thick layers of ice behave in a plastic fashion, and movement flow occurs when significant mass accumulates Same precipitation process as snowfall just longterm storage of snowfall Occurs at high elevation around the world less dense than liquid water (of course) snow from snowflakes transforms to more compact forms where it becomes increasingly solid ice plastic fashion wont rebound to its original shape thick ice layers can behave in plastic fashion as it accumulates over time edges are the first part of the snowflakes to disappear and transform into porous material known as firn snowflakes granular snow firn glacier ice have simple mass balance as they have an accumulation zone and ablation zone accumulation can have ablation action within itself (not exclusive) warmer climates: equilibrium line moves upslope to increase ablation colder climates: equilibrium line moves downslope to increase accumulation Glacier Types Pattern of glacier movement varies depending on quantity of ice and terrain environment Variations best understood by considering two basic types of glaciers
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