Make your own free website on


Where are Glaciers found?

While most glacial ice in the world is located in Antarctica and Greenland, glaciers exist all over the world, even in Africa. Since certain climatic and geographic conditions must be present for glaciers to exist, they are most commonly found above snow line: regions of high winter snow and cool summer temperatures. This condition allows more snow to gather on the glacier in the winter then will melt in the summer and this is why most glaciers are found in either mountainous areas or in the polar regions. Snow line can occur at different altitudes however: in Washington State the snow line is at 1600
meters while in Africa it is over 5100 meters and in Antarctica it is at sealevel. The amount of snow a glacier is able to transform into ice is extremely important to its survival, Which is why a very cold place like Siberia has almost no glaciers: there is not enough snowfall.

Approximate Area Covered by Glaciers {square kilometers}

Central Asia-109,000
South America-26,000
New Zealand-1,000
New Guinea-15

Total coverage is over 15,800,000 square kilometers, or almost as big as South

Types of Glaciers that exist:

Mountain Glaciers-These are glaciers that develop in high moutainous regions
and usually flow out of icefields that stretch across several peaks or
sometimes even an entire mountain range. The largest mountain glaciers are
found in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, the Andes mountains in South America,
the Himalayas in Asia, and Antarctica.

Valley Glaciers-These glaciers commonly originate from mountain glaciers or
icefields and spill down valleys. valley glaciers are usually very long and
often flow down beyond the snow line and sometimes reach sea level.

Piedmont Glaciers-These types of glaciers occur when steep valley glaciers
spill into flat plains, where they spread out into bulb-like lobes. One of
the most famous examples of this kind of glacier is the Malaspina Glacier in
Alaska. This glacier covers over 5,000 square kilometers.

Cirque Glaciers-These glaciers are named for the bowl-like hollows they
occupy, which are called cirques. They are usually found high on moutainsand
tend to be wide instead of long.

Hanging Glaciers-These glaciers, sometimes called ice aprons, cling to steep
moutain sides. Like the cirque glaciers, they also tend to be wide instead of
long. Hanging glaciers are common in the Alps where they cause many
avalanches due to the steep inclines they sit on.

Tidewater Glaciers- These are glaciers that flow far enough to reach out into
the sea. These glaciers push small icebergs into the sea and while not as bad
as Antartic icebergs are still a problem for shipping lanes.



What Are Glaciers? | How are they formed? | What are they Made of? | Where can they be found? | Erosion | The Ice Age | Famous Glaciers | Features | Glaciers and People | Interesting Facts | Bibliography