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Glacier and meltwater in a mountain valley.

Glacier and meltwater in a mountain valley.

E235/0184

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Credit

STEVE HORRELL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE HORRELL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Glacier. Glacier (at centre) and a stream carrying its meltwater in a valley. A glacier is a river-like flow of ice and is formed in mountains or polar regions where the rate of snowfall is greater than the rate at which the snow melts. The compaction of snow causes the lower layers be compressed into ice which acts like a very viscous fluid. This ice flows down the valley at about 1 metre a day until it reaches a warmer area where it melts to form streams and rivers. Glaciers erode the rocks in their valley and carry the stones to the place where the ice melts. Photograph of the Franz Joseph Glacier in New Zealand.

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