How are glaciers formed?



  1. 0 Votes

    When snow remains in the same area year-round and never melts, it starts to accumulate and turn into ice. Year after year, new layers of snow forms and compresses the already made layers. This causes the snow to re-crystallize, to form grains similar in size and shape to grains of sugar. The grains start to grow larger over time and the air pockets between the grains get smaller.

    The snow compresses and becomes incredibly dense. This process becomes more and more extreme over time (more compression, more density, air pockets become tiny) and the snow becomes glaciers. This process takes over a hundred years.

  2. 0 Votes

    An additional aspect of a glacier is that it must be sufficiently massive so that it moves, creeping slowly downslope or away from its mass center in multiple directions, driven by its own weight. Snow and/or ice, even if thick and lasting from year to year, if it cannot move, would be a snow field or ice field, not a glacier.

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