Are glaciers more erosive than rivers?



  1. 0 Votes

    There are a lot of factors that need to be considered in this question such as, how big is the river, how much water is flowing through it, how large is the glacier, and how fast it is moving. My best answer is that they are both equally erosive on different time scales. You have examples of erosion like in say the Mississippi River, where over the past 10,000 years has moved back and forth as far as where it enters the Gulf of Mexico. As it moves across the land it is going to have a profound effect on the landscape, not including all of the material it moves up stream. Glaciers have been known to make lakes, such as Lake Missoula, which was formed when a glacier burst at the end of the last ice age. You probably mean when a glacier moves across the land, but again that is based on how large the glacier is, how much it weighs, which is directly related to how much friction it creates on the land. So again I do not think there is one set answer for this question, both forces of nature erode the landscape. I think this question boils down to the scale of each we are referring to which can be quantified by looking at specific instances like the Mississippi River and Lake Missoula.

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