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What Makes a Glacier Move?

"Valley" glaciers commonly start from "mountain" glaciers, ice fields or ice sheets. These glaciers leave the mountain ranges and spill down valleys, looking much like giant tongues. They may be very long and often flow down below the snow line - sometimes even reaching sea level or entering into oceans. They then become "tidewater" glaciers and calve icebergs.

Why do they move?

Once a mass of compressed ice reaches a certain thickness, usually around 20 meters / 66 feet thick, it becomes so heavy that it begins to change shape and move. The pressure from the sheer bulk of the ice, combined with the pull of gravity, causes the glacier to flow downhill very slowly - creeping along and bending like an ice river.

Movement along the underside of a glacier is slower than movement at the top due to the friction created as it slides along the ground's surface.

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Library: Arctic, Glaciers, Icebergs, Ice
Links: Arctic, Glaciers, Icebergs
Maps: Source of Atlantic Icebergs
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports

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A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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