NZICESCAPES IMAGES

Types of Glaciers 1

Fox Glacier under highest peaks in New Zealand - Mt. Tasman 3,497m and Mt Cook 3,754m

Fox Glacier under highest peaks in New Zealand - Mt. Tasman 3,497m and Mt Cook 3,754m

When do we call a chunk of ice a glacier? Usually, the ice mass has to be at least 100m x 100m in size and needs to show some signs of a present or past movement.
Generally, glaciers are divided into two main groups – Ice Sheets and Valley Glaciers, each with several sub-types.
Ice Sheets or Continental Glaciers are the largest masses of ice on Earth spreading over 50,000 square kilometres with the depth of ice sometimes more than 4,200m. They are only found in Antarctica and Greenland. Ice Shelves are floating extensions of Ice Sheets and surround most of Antarctica. Ice masses smaller than 50,000km2, with a dome-shaped accumulation of ice and snow completely covering mountainous areas, are called Ice Caps and are found in high elevations of polar and sub-polar regions. Similar but smaller than Ice Caps are Ice Fields which can cover low-relief mountain plateaus providing a source of ice for Mountain or Valley Glaciers. Relatively smaller than its originating ice source are Outlet Glaciers, these are rapidly moving frozen streams flowing out of larger bodies of ice.

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