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Melting Glaciers and Its Effects

How are glaciers a part of the hydrologic and rock cycles?

Glaciers are frozen water. When water penetrates the structure of a rock and then freezes, it tends to expand and destroy the rock formation around it. The glaciers are the reason for the erosion of the rocks. The glaciers also cause massive changes in the soil they cover because when glaciers move they can wash out the drifted materials and sediments. This is how the glaciers participate in the hydrologic and rock cycles.

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What is meant by a glacier’s budget?

A glacier’s budget stands for the contents of the structure of the glacier. It is what the glacier is made of. The glacier budget is the relationship between the parts and materials its body includes such as snow, ice, and firn. This budget can be positive or negative. A negative budget causes the retreat of the glacier (Lutgens, Tarbuck, 97). Factors that contribute to the negative budget are calving and ablation. Factors that make the budget positive are low temperatures, snow, and accumulation.

Explain glacial plucking and abrasion

Glacial plucking is the process that happens when the glacier surrounds rocky areas so that rocks become frozen into the body of the glacier. When the glacier starts to move, these rocks end up being plucked out of the ground, which affects the landscape that was covered by the glacier and makes it dented and jagged. Abrasion is the process that occurs when the rocks were frozen into the body of a glacier slide through the ground and rub off the landscape, polishing it and making it smooth.

What defines an “ice age”?

The term “ice age” is relative (Jessa, par. 3). It is determined by the cooler temperatures. According to the opinions of modern scientists, we are right now living during the ice age. This statement means that there is evidence that the average temperatures and climate on our planet used to be much warmer than it is right now. This period is also called the interglacial period. The ice age period is defined by the massive sheets of ice on the poles and top of the mountains.

Give an example of how the Ice Age affected the geography of North America?

During the period of the last glaciations, which was happening around twenty thousand years ago many changes happened to the landscapes of Europe and North America. The landforms that we observe today are what remained after the enormous glacier melted. The glacier was covering the bigger part of modern Canada and some of the United States. As a result, we can observe multiple lakes dotting the maps of these countries. Some of the lakes that occurred due to the melting of the glacier dried out by today, but their shorelines are still noticeable, one is visible on the landscapes near Salt Lake City.

How do fiords form?

Fiords are known to be the results of the erosion, which occurred in the landscapes due to the presence of glaciers there. Glaciers typically retreat leaving a narrow valley. After a while seas fill in these narrow ways and create streams of water with cliffs on both sides. These inlets are called fiords.

What is the most important erosional agent in deserts?

The most important erosion agent in deserts is water. Wind influences the landscape of the desert quite a lot, but when the water streams appear, erosion is inevitable. The type of soil in the desert is dried out and very hard. It cannot absorb water quickly, this is why water streams and floods occur after the rain, they make the soil float and destroy everything on the way.

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Works Cited

Jessa, Tega. What is an Ice Age. 2010. Web.

Lutgens, Frederick, K., Tarbuck, Edward, J. Foundations of earth Science. 7th ed. 2014. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Print.

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