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Valley (mountain) glaciers

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Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Earth Science ((EESS))

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Valley glaciers comprise one of the two general classifications of glaciers. The other is ice sheets or icecaps. Valley glaciers are also referred to as mountain glaciers, ice streams, or Alpine glaciers (Matthes, 1942, p. 151; Flint, 1957, p. 11).

Footnote 1

Valley glaciers originate in cirques at the head of high mountain valleys and flow downward much as a stream of water follows an existing channel. In general, they are rather narrow in relation to length. The length of a mountain glacier may vary from a fraction of a mile to tens of miles; widths from a few hundred feet to several miles. Altitudes may range from near the summit of lofty mountains to sea level. Some of the Alaskan and Canadian glaciers have an altitude range of over 15,000 feet.

Hobbs preferred “mountain glacier,” and evidently included within this term the nunatak-studded margins of an ice sheet such as Greenland. Cotton spoke of “mountain-and-valley glaciers” and subdivided them into “valley glaciers” sensu...

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    Publication authorized by Director, U.S. Geological Survey.


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© 1968 Reinhold Book Corporation

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Johnson, A. (1968). Valley (mountain) glaciers. In: Geomorphology. Encyclopedia of Earth Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-442-00939-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-540-31060-0

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