• Sreepat Jain
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


A glacier is a thick mass of ice moving downhill under the pull of gravity. It is an accumulation of large quantities of ice, air, water, and sediments (rock debris) that flows with gravity due to its own massive mass. Glaciers make up the Cryosphere, the part of the earth that remains below the freezing point of water and covers about 10 % of the earth’s land surface (about 15 million km2; Hambrey 1994; French 1996; Ben and Evans 1998; Anderson 2004). On a global basis, glaciers cover one-tenth of the earth’s surface, and store 68.7 % of the world’s freshwater supply (Fig. 11.1). If all of the global supply of land ice locked up in glaciers were to melt, then sea level would rise ~70 m.


Basal Slip Ground Moraine Valley Glacier Alpine Glacier Continental Glacier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Anderson D (2004) Glacial and periglacial environments. Hodder Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Ben DI, Evans DJA (1998) Glaciers and glaciation. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Deynoux MJ, Miller MG, Domack EW, Eyles N, Fairchild I, Young GM (eds) (2004) Earth’s glacial record. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Flint RF (1971) Glacial and quaternary geology. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. French HM (1996) The Periglacial environment. 2nd edn. Longman, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Hambrey M (1994) Glacial environments. B.C., UBC Press, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  7. Hughes TJ (1998) Ice sheets. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Ives JD, Barry RG (1974) Arctic and alpine environments. Menthuen, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Martini IP, Brookfield ME, Sadura S (2001) Principles of glacial geomorphology and geology. Prentice Hall, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  10. Meier MF (1962) Proposed definitions for glacier mass budget terms. J Glaciol 4(33):252–263Google Scholar
  11. Sharp RP (1992) Living ice. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations