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Chapter 14

PHY 120 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Glacier Morphology, Glacier, Water Cycle

Course Code
PHY 120

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Glacier: moving bodies of ice on land
Deeply scour the surfaces they move over
Part of the hydrologic cycle
Very sensitive to climate change
Flows downslope or outward from area of accumulation
Glaciation: all glacial activity… origin, expansion, retreat, impact
Move very slowly
Dynamic, continuously adjusting to changes
May expand or contract depending on climate
May be slower or more rapid depending on amount of water/snow
Glaciers make up one reservoir in the hydrologic cycle where water is stored for long periods, but
this water too eventually returns to its original source, the ocean
Sublimation: glaciers lose water when ice changes to water vapor without the liquid phase
Snow = 80% air
Glacial Ice = 10% air … compacted and recrystallized… metamorphic rock
Firn: granular type of snow formed by partial melting and refreezing of snow, transitional material
between snow and ice
Plastic Flow: when accumulation of ice/snow reach 40m thickness, the stress induces this
permanent deformation (no fracturing)…… constant year round
Basil Slip: glaciers slide over their underlying surfaces…water facilitates this by reducing friction…
more important during warmer months when meltwater is abundant
Above 40m thickness the ice is brittle and fractures due to stress
Expect to find glaciers in high mountains and high latitudes if they receive enough snow
> Aka alpine or mountain glacier
> Confined to a mountain valley
> Flows from higher to lower elevation
> Smaller
> Faster
> Commonly have tributariesform
interconnected system of glaciers
> Shape is controlled by the valleylong
and narrow
> Piedmont Glaciervalley to plain,
spreads, more extensive ice cover
> Tidewater Glacierterminus is in
> Aka ice sheets
> Vast, large
> Slower
> Unconfined
> Flow outward in all directions
> Ice Shelves: floating ice
> Ice Cap: intermediate, dome shaped
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