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Activity Discussion General Discussion Glaciers Movement

  • Kunal

    February 15, 2024 at 5:44 pm
    Not Helpful

    Glaciers move through a combination of two processes: internal deformation and basal sliding. Internal deformation refers to the movement of the ice within the glacier itself, while basal sliding refers to the movement of the glacier along its bed.

    1. Internal Deformation: Glaciers are made up of layers of ice that gradually accumulate over time. Under the pressure of their own weight, these layers of ice deform and flow like a viscous fluid. The ice crystals within the glacier slide past each other, causing the glacier to slowly deform and move downhill. This process is more significant in the central and upper parts of the glacier where the ice is under greater pressure.

    2. Basal Sliding: Basal sliding occurs when the base of the glacier is in contact with the underlying terrain or bedrock. Meltwater at the base of the glacier acts as a lubricant, allowing the glacier to slide over the bed. The weight of the glacier and the pressure exerted by the ice cause the meltwater to flow, reducing the friction between the glacier and the bedrock. This enables the glacier to move more rapidly. Basal sliding is particularly important in areas where the slope of the terrain is steeper.

    The combination of internal deformation and basal sliding allows glaciers to flow and move over time. The rate of movement can vary greatly depending on factors such as the slope of the terrain, the amount of meltwater present, and the size and thickness of the glacier. Some glaciers may only move a few centimeters per day, while others can move several meters per day.

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