JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rhone glacier. Ice that forms part of the Rhone Glacier in the Swiss Alps. 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 to 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. This glacier is the origin of the river Rhone which flows from Switzerland through France to the Mediterranean.
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