Glacier Facts

Glacier Facts
A glacier is a large mass of ice that is packed tightly and moves constantly because of gravity, pressure, and slope to the surface beneath. A glacier builds up over a long period of time as snow and ice accumulate, usually in an area between mountains where it is possible for the snow to collect and compress. The weight of the snow compacts and squeezes the air from the snowflakes, creating dense ice. The weight and pressure of the ice will eventually move down a sloped surface, eroding the ground underneath. This process can create a U-shape where a V-shape existed between mountains. Glaciers cover approximately 10% of the land on earth.
Interesting Glacier Facts:
The word glacier is derived from a French word derived from a Latin word 'glacies' which means ice.
In order to be called a glacier the mass must be at least .1 square kilometer in size. This is equivalent to almost 19 football fields, which is almost 25 acres in size.
Antarctica's Lambert Glacier, is the world's largest glacier. Its 270 miles long and 60 miles wide. It is named after Bruce P. Lambert, a former national mapping director in Australia from the 1950s.
The world's glaciers contain approximately 69% of the world's fresh water supply. The world's lakes, swamps, rivers, and other fresh water bodies contain only 0.3% of the world's fresh water supply.
It is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 glaciers in the state of Alaska. They are estimated to cover approximately 28,000 square miles. In Alaska, residents are able to harvest the ice from glaciers if they get the right permit.
If the glaciers and ice sheets all melted at once, the world's sea levels would rise by 260 feet. Everything under that level would be submerged in water.
Although glaciers move slowly, some move as fast as 50 feet each day. The Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland moved 150 feet per day in 2012, setting a world record.
A continental glacier is much larger than an alpine glacier, and it can move over hills and mountains without being affected.
Alpine glaciers are the glaciers that move downward from mountains and valleys and are much smaller than continental glaciers.
Although they cover only 10% of the earth's land today, during the last ice age it is estimated that they covered approximately one-third of the planet's land.
It is believed that the earth has gone through 5 ice ages on the last two billion years, and by some standards we are currently in another one.
Every single continent on the earth (except Australia) has glaciers. Even Mexico has 24 glaciers.
The turquoise blue water found in some lakes is the result of the fine dust created by glaciers moving across the earth that is too fine to sink. The suspended dust creates the beautiful color.
Glacier ice cannot absorb the color blue which is why some of them look blue.
One single glacier ice crystal can grow, over time, to be as large as a baseball as the pressure overhead grows.


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