About This Chapter
Glaciers - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Glaciers are large, thick masses of ice that have formed over a long period of time. These flowing bodies make up about a tenth of Earth's total land area. Through this series of video lessons on glaciers, you can learn about various components of glaciers as well as what causes glaciers to form. When you've finished this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
- Differentiate between valley glaciers and ice sheets
- Identify processes that can cause glacial motion
- Explain what happens when ice accumulation exceeds wastage and when wastage exceeds accumulation
- Describe how the type of sediment in a pluvial lake - for example, mud or salt deposits - is related to variation in water level
- Discern between the glacial erosion processes of plucking and abrasion
|What Are Glaciers? - Definition, Types & Processes||Describe the formation of valley glaciers and ice sheets.|
|Glacier Movement: Definition & Processes||Learn how glaciers move.|
|The Effect of Accumulation & Wastage on Glacier Formation||Understand the effect of accumulation and wastage on glacier formation.|
|Glacial Erosion: Definition, Processes & Features||Explain how glaciers erode land by plucking and abrasion.|
|Glacial Deposition: Definition & Results||Describe the result of glaciers melting through deposition.|
|The Effect of Ice Age Glaciers: Formation of Pluvial Lakes||Learn about the effect of Ice Age glaciers, including the formation of pluvial lakes.|
|Glaciation: Definition, Periods & Causes||Describe the causes of glaciation, including tectonic plate movement and variations in Earth's orbit.|
1. What Are Glaciers? - Definition, Types & Processes
Learn about the two major types of glaciers: continental and alpine glaciers. These glaciers shape the landscape around them and affect our everyday lives, even if the nearest glacier is thousands of miles away.
2. Glacier Movement: Definition & Process
Glaciers are mountains of ice that move. This movement is usually a combination of processes that include internal plastic deformation and basal sliding. Learn about these processes and factors that increase glacial flow rates.
3. The Effect of Accumulation & Wastage on Glacier Formation
Glaciers grow through a process called accumulation and waste away through a process called wastage, or ablation. Learn about these processes and how they are used to determine the health, or mass balance, of a glacier.
4. Glacial Erosion: Definition, Processes & Features
Glaciers are huge blocks of ice that move along the landscape, carving distinct features along the way. Learn about the glacial erosion processes, plucking and abrasion, and the features they create, including cirque, horns, arête and roche moutonnee.
5. Glacial Deposition: Definition & Results
As glaciers move and retreat, they push and drop rocks and sediments in a process known as glacial deposition. Learn about this glacial process and the interesting landforms that result from it, including moraines, erratics and drumlins, in this lesson.
6. The Effect of Ice Age Glaciers: Formation of Pluvial Lakes
Ice age glaciers caused erosion and deposition, which resulted in unique features such as horns, cirques, lakes, U-shaped valleys, moraines and drumlins. Indirect effects include pluvial lakes, isostatic depression and a change in sea level.
7. Causes of Glaciation
Glaciation refers to being covered with glaciers. Learn about the theories behind glaciation, including the changing continental positions and the Milankovitch theory, which points to three orbital variations: eccentricity, obliquity and precession, in this lesson.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the Earth Science 101: Earth Science course
- Earth Science Basics
- Geologic Time
- Characteristics of Matter
- Earth's Spheres and Internal Structure
- Plate Tectonics
- Minerals and Rocks
- Igneous Rocks
- Volcanic Landforms
- Weathering and Erosion
- Sedimentary Rocks: A Deeper Look
- Metamorphic Rocks: A Deeper Look
- Rock Deformation and Mountain Building
- Water Balance on Earth
- Running Water
- Ground Water
- Coastal Hazards
- Earth's Atmosphere
- Weather, Air Masses & Storms
- Earth History
- Energy Resources
- Studying for Earth Science 101