glaciers desert and wind

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Published on September 25, 2008

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Glaciers, Deserts, and Wind : Glaciers, Deserts, and Wind Transformation of Snow to Glacial Ice : Fig. 15.6 Transformation of Snow to Glacial Ice Polarized Thin Section of Ice : Z. Xie/Lanzhou Institute of Glaciology, Academia Sinica, People’s Republic of China Polarized Thin Section of Ice Fig. 15.1 Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system : Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system Movement of glacial ice Types of glacial movements Plastic flow Slipping along the ground Zone of fracture Uppermost 50 meters Crevasses form in brittle ice Glaciers move by basal sliding and internal plastic flow : Glaciers move by basal sliding and internal plastic flow Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system : Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system Movement of glacial ice Zone of accumulation – the area where a glacier forms Zone of wastage – the area where there is a net loss due to melting The glacial budget : The glacial budget Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system : Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system Glaciers are a part of both the hydrologic cycle and rock cycle Glacier - a thick mass of ice that forms over land from the compaction and recrystallization of snow and shows evidence of past or present flow Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system : Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system Types of glaciers Valley, or alpine glaciers – form in mountainous areas Ice sheets, or continental glaciers Large scale e.g., Over Greenland and Antarctica Other types Ice caps and piedmont glaciers Currently continental ice sheets cover Greenland and Antarctica : Currently continental ice sheets cover Greenland and Antarctica Sentinel Range, Antarctica : Betty Crowell Sentinel Range, Antarctica Greenland Ice Cap : Greenland Ice Cap Variations in the Present Height of the Snow Line : Variations in the Present Height of the Snow Line Stages of Antarctic Ice Shelf Retreat : Stages of Antarctic Ice Shelf Retreat Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system : Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system Glaciers of the past Ice Age Began 2 to 3 million years ago Division of geological time is called the Pleistocene epoch Ice covered 30% of Earth's land area Maximum extent of ice during the Ice Age : Maximum extent of ice during the Ice Age Sea level changes : Sea level changes lots of water in glaciers: during last ice age sea level lowered by ~130 m shoreline 100 km from NYC - Bering Strait, English Channel, Indonesia If all ice in glaciers today would melt, sea level would rise 65m: Florida, Egypt, Hong Kong, London, Houston would flood August, 18,000 B.P. : August, 18,000 B.P. Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system : Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system Glaciers of the past Indirect effects of Ice Age glaciers Migration of animals and plants Rebounding upward of the crust Worldwide change in sea level Climatic changes Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system : Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system Causes of glaciation Successful theory must account for Cooling of Earth, as well as Short-term climatic changes Proposed possible causes Plate tectonics Continents were arranged differently Changes in oceanic circulation Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system : Glaciers: a part of two basic cycles in the Earth system Causes of glaciation Proposed possible causes Variations in Earth's orbit Milankovitch hypothesis Shape (eccentricity) of Earth's orbit varies Angle of Earth's axis (obliquity) changes Axis wobbles (precession) Changes in climate over the past several hundred thousand years are closely associated with variations in Earth's orbit Components of the Earth-Sun Orbital Variation : Components of the Earth-Sun Orbital Variation Deserts : Deserts Geologic processes in arid climates Weathering Not as effective as in humid regions Mechanical weathering forms unaltered rock and mineral fragments Some chemical weathering does occur Clay forms Thin soil forms Deserts : Deserts Geologic processes in arid climates Role of water in arid climates Streams are dry most of the time Desert streams are said to be ephemeral Flow only during periods of rainfall Different names are used for desert streams including wash, arroyo, wadi, donga, and nullah Deserts : Deserts Geologic processes in arid climates Role of water in arid climates Desert rainfall Rain often occurs as heavy showers Causes flash floods Poorly integrated drainage Most erosional work in a desert is done by running water Atmospheric Circulation Patterns : Atmospheric Circulation Patterns Major Deserts of the World : Major Deserts of the World Fig. 14.20 A dry stream channel in the desert : A dry stream channel in the desert The same stream channel following heavy rainfall : The same stream channel following heavy rainfall

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