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Great Glaciation period Essay

Approximately 240,000 years ago, North America experienced the Great Glaciation period. The Ice Age occurred as the result of the climate changing from cold to warmer. Scientists believe that there were between five and eight of these cold to warm cycles which led up to the Great Glaciation period. It was during this period of time that the first glaciers were formed. Glaciers are formed when snow accumulates over time, is compressed and then freezes. The constant build up and melting of the ice keeps the glaciers always flowing.

There are several different types of glaciers that take up about ten percent of earth’s total land. Ice Sheets are a massive layer of ice that covers all the land. These types of glaciers are found exclusively in Antarctica and in Greenland. Ice Shelves are formed when ice sheets stretch from land over the ocean or sea. Ice Caps are found in polar and sub-polar regions. They are similar to ice sheets, but they are much smaller and they form at high altitudes. Ice sheets have channels of water that flow out from them. These streams of water flow at a quicker pace than the main body of ice.

These channels of water are called Ice Streams or Outlet Glaciers. Icefields are comparable to ice caps, but there are differences. Icefields tend to be smaller and their flow is guided by the landscape underneath the ice. Mountain Glaciers are found at very high altitudes in mountainous areas. They are formed on mountain peaks and sometimes cover entire mountain ranges. Some of the largest mountain glaciers are in Alaska and in the Andes and Himalayan Mountains. Valley Glaciers form from the flow of mountain glaciers and icefields.

They flow downwards into valleys and they look like a very long tongue. When valley glaciers flow onto flat plains they form Piedmont Glaciers. The largest Piedmont glacier is the Malaspina Glacier in Alaska. Cirque Glaciers are formed in the hollows on mountainsides. Hanging Glaciers or ice aprons are also found high on mountainsides. These glaciers can be found in the Alps where they are known to cause avalanches. When valley glaciers flow into the sea, they are called Tidewater Glaciers. Many small icebergs are formed from this type of glaciers.

When chunks of ice break off from glaciers and drift out to sea, icebergs are formed. It’s a process called calving. Icebergs are different sizes and shapes and are found in the Arctic and Antarctic. Tens of thousands of icebergs are formed each year and they float around at sea for about four years. Icebergs are a hazard in shipping lanes. An iceberg became notorious for the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Works Cited Cameron, W. (2005). Icefields and Glaciers. Retrieved September 28, 2008, from Mountain Nature. com: http://www. mountainnature. com/Geology/Glaciers. htm Icebergs.

(n. d. ). Retrieved September 28, 2008, from National Weather Service Jetstream Max-Online School for Weather: http://www. srh. noaa. gov/jetstream/ocean/icebergs_max. htm Icebergs. (2007, August 29). Retrieved September 28, 2008, from National Ice Center: http://www. natice. noaa. gov/ National Snow and Ice Data Centere. (n. d. ). Retrieved September 28, 2008, from All About Glaciers: http://nsidc. org/glaciers/story/grow. html What kind of glaciers are there? (n. d. ). Retrieved September 28, 2008, from All About Glaciers: http://nsidc. org/glaciers/questions/types. html

Approximately 240,000 years ago, North America experienced the Great Glaciation period. The Ice Age occurred as the result of the climate changing from cold to warmer. Scientists believe that there were between five and eight of these cold to warm cycles which led up to the Great Glaciation period. It was during this period of time that the first glaciers were formed. Glaciers are formed when snow accumulates over time, is compressed and then freezes. The constant build up and melting of the ice keeps the glaciers always flowing.

There are several different types of glaciers that take up about ten percent of earth’s total land. Ice Sheets are a massive layer of ice that covers all the land. These types of glaciers are found exclusively in Antarctica and in Greenland. Ice Shelves are formed when ice sheets stretch from land over the ocean or sea. Ice Caps are found in polar and sub-polar regions. They are similar to ice sheets, but they are much smaller and they form at high altitudes. Ice sheets have channels of water that flow out from them. These streams of water flow at a quicker pace than the main body of ice.

These channels of water are called Ice Streams or Outlet Glaciers. Icefields are comparable to ice caps, but there are differences. Icefields tend to be smaller and their flow is guided by the landscape underneath the ice. Mountain Glaciers are found at very high altitudes in mountainous areas. They are formed on mountain peaks and sometimes cover entire mountain ranges. Some of the largest mountain glaciers are in Alaska and in the Andes and Himalayan Mountains. Valley Glaciers form from the flow of mountain glaciers and icefields.

They flow downwards into valleys and they look like a very long tongue. When valley glaciers flow onto flat plains they form Piedmont Glaciers. The largest Piedmont glacier is the Malaspina Glacier in Alaska. Cirque Glaciers are formed in the hollows on mountainsides. Hanging Glaciers or ice aprons are also found high on mountainsides. These glaciers can be found in the Alps where they are known to cause avalanches. When valley glaciers flow into the sea, they are called Tidewater Glaciers. Many small icebergs are formed from this type of glaciers.

When chunks of ice break off from glaciers and drift out to sea, icebergs are formed. It’s a process called calving. Icebergs are different sizes and shapes and are found in the Arctic and Antarctic. Tens of thousands of icebergs are formed each year and they float around at sea for about four years. Icebergs are a hazard in shipping lanes. An iceberg became notorious for the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

Works Cited Cameron, W. (2005). Icefields and Glaciers. Retrieved September 28, 2008, from Mountain Nature. com: http://www. mountainnature. com/Geology/Glaciers. htm Icebergs. (n. d. ).

Retrieved September 28, 2008, from National Weather Service Jetstream Max-Online School for Weather: http://www. srh. noaa. gov/jetstream/ocean/icebergs_max. htm Icebergs. (2007, August 29). Retrieved September 28, 2008, from National Ice Center: http://www. natice. noaa. gov/ National Snow and Ice Data Centere. (n. d. ). Retrieved September 28, 2008, from All About Glaciers: http://nsidc. org/glaciers/story/grow. html What kind of glaciers are there? (n. d. ). Retrieved September 28, 2008, from All About Glaciers: http://nsidc. org/glaciers/questions/types. html


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