Environment Featured — 21 November 2015

Why Do Glaciers Slide

When we talk about our environment, we also talk about the natural wealth on our planet. It is highly important that this wealth is preserved for our future generations. One of the essential parts of nature exists in the form of glaciers. Glaciers are formed over a long period of time when snow keeps depositing to turn into these ice structures. While these crystalline solids are huge in shape and appearance, these actually move or slide.

Many people are worried to know that these so-called rivers of ice have been sliding at various places. However, it is important to understand that these glaciers are bound to make movement and their movement is the result of specific factors. There is no need to panic if glaciers slide or move due to natural factors. Check out what makes these huge ice structures shift places.

The motion in glaciers is caused majorly by the Earth’s gravitation pull. Just like the water is discharged from a watershed, the glacier ice is discharged out of the structure when more snow gets deposited on it than it loses due to environmental factors. Gravity causes the ice to flow down the valleys. These glaciers also move sometimes on their own beds and at a faster pace.

Rocks also keep falling on these structures and eroding their beds. They form debris inside the glaciers and make them slide with this debris. Apart from this, the load of more snow than the glacier can accumulate may cause its movement. In fact, the areas with a large quantity of snow have more glaciers flowing and breaking down into icebergs. The additional battering by the sea forms multiple icebergs. It is actually the balance occurring in the flow of ice.

Thus, when melting or evaporation do not cause enough loss of snow out of a glacier, it starts moving due to the excessive weight of snow it carries. Still, it is a natural process that further glorifies the beauty of nature.

Written by Ruchika Pahwa

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Ruchika Pahwa

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