Franz Josef glacier, New Zealand

Franz Josef glacier, New Zealand

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Credit: ZEPHYR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Franz Josef glacier, New Zealand, aerial photograph. A glacier is a river of ice. It forms as snow, falling in mountainous areas, compacts to form ice that flows downhill under its own weight. The Franz Josef glacier descends from the Southern Alps on New Zealand's South Island. In 2006, it was 12 kilometres long, but, like all glaciers, it undergoes periods of advancing (increasing in size) and retreating (decreasing in size). It is unusual among glaciers in that it descends into a rainforest, in this case the temperate rainforest found on the West Coast of the South Island. The glacier is named after the Austrian emperor Franz Josef I (1830-1916).

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Keywords: 21st century, aerial photography, franz josef glacier, glacial, glacier, glaciology, ice, mountain, mountains, nature, new zealand, physical geography, snow, south island, southern alps, valley, west coast

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