- Is the opposite of accumulation. In glacial terms, this can occur through melting, evaporation, calving (dropping off the end into the sea) or removal by wind.
- Glaciers abrade the rocks they sit on. They remove rock and debris to form cirques and moraines.
- Abrasion occurs when the ice and its load of rock embedded into it, move over the bedrock, acting like sandpaper, smoothing and polishing the bedrock below.
- Or corries or cwm (pronounced coom) are a half-open steep-sided hollow at the head of a valley or on a mountainside, formed by glacial erosion.
- Changes in glaciers are considered the most sensitive indicators of climate change and are a major component in rising sea levels.
- A deep open crack in a glacier.
- A low oval mound or small hill, typically one of a group, consisting of compacted boulder clay moulded by past glacial action.
- Snow, especially on the upper part of a glacier, where it has not yet been compressed into ice.
- In glaciated areas where the glacier moves faster than one km per year, glacial earthquakes occur. These are large scale tremors that have seismic magnitudes as high as 6.0. The number of glacial earthquakes in Greenland peaks every year in July-September and is increasing over time. In a study using data from January 1993 through October 2005, more events were detected every year since 2002, and twice as many events were recorded in 2005 as there were in any other year. This increase in the numbers of glacial earthquakes in Greenland may be a response to global warming.
- The process of being covered by glaciers or ice sheets.
- A consistent body of ice that is constantly moving under its own weight.
- The study of glaciers, they way they move and their effects on the environment.
- A hanging valley is a shallow valley carved by a small glacier that gets cut off by a larger glacier going through beneath it. The valley floor is hanging above the floor of the larger glacial valley.
- A large floating mass of ice detached from a glacier or ice sheet and carried out to sea.
- A layer of ice covering an extensive tract of land for a long period of time.
- A floating sheet of ice permanently attached to a land mass.
- Narrow fast moving sections of an ice sheet are called ice streams.
Some ice streams drain directly into the sea forming ice tongues like Mertz glacier.
During an ice age, the great weight of ice pushes the ground deeper into the earth. When the ice retreats, the earth slowly rebounds back to its previous position. This process takes thousands of years. Scotland is still rising now after the last age lefts its shores 11 500 years ago.
A kettle (kettle hole, pothole) is a shallow, sediment-filled body of water formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters.
Image © Hans Hillewaert
- Glacial ice is the largest form of fresh water on earth. Glaciers melt during the summer releasing a steady stream of water that feeds many millions of people downstream. When the glaciers are gone, the steady flow of water that feeds the rivers will become more erratic.
- A mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges or extremity.