All About Glaciers for Kids: How Glaciers Form and Erode to Create Landforms – FreeSchool
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All About Glaciers for Kids: How Glaciers Form and Erode to Create Landforms – FreeSchool


You’re watching FreeSchool! Glaciers are also called slow-moving rivers
of ice. Most common in the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctic, glaciers can be
found in the mountains of every continent except Australia. Glaciers form in places
where snow accumulates over time. It takes decades, or even centuries, for glaciers to
form. As the snow deepens, the weight and pressure of the snow on top compresses the
lower layers into ice. The weight of the glacier plus the force of gravity will gradually cause
the glacier to move downhill. Most glaciers move very slowly, only about 160 feet or 50
meters per year, but some move as fast as 100 feet or 30 meters per day. Glaciers are powerful. They can carve huge
chunks out of mountains as they move downhill. Because of this, they are sometimes called
‘nature’s bulldozers.’ Like bulldozers, they shape the land as they pass over it, but they
do this in several ways. First, glaciers pick up any material lying
on the ground beneath where snow accumulates. Water beneath the glacier soaks into cracks
in the rock below. As the water freezes, it forces the cracks wider and breaks off pieces
of rock. This is called freeze-thaw weathering. As the glacier flows downhill, it takes these
loose pieces with it. This is called erosion. These rocks and stones scrape along the glacier
bed like sandpaper, taking more rocks and stones with them. The ground beneath it becomes
smooth as the glacier moves over it – this is called abrasion. The glacier transports
the eroded material downhill with it. Sometimes you can see dirt and rocks in a glacier, which
will give it a dirty appearance. Once the glacier flows far enough downhill
that temperatures are warmer, it begins to melt. Anything that can’t melt, like rocks,
stones, sand, and clay, is deposited or left behind as glacial till. The ice turns into
meltwater and flows farther downhill to join a lake, stream, or ocean. If a glacier reaches
a body of water, pieces of it may break off and fall into the water, forming icebergs. Glaciers are only found in very cold parts
of the earth, but during the last ice age they could be found in parts of the world
that are much warmer now. Even though the ice is melted now, the landforms created by
the movement of ancient glaciers can still be seen today. Glaciers can create lakes,
valleys, and other landforms, and are the largest sources of fresh water in the world.
As they move, glaciers change the shape of the earth, making them one of the most dynamic
natural features on the planet.

About James Carlton

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7 thoughts on “All About Glaciers for Kids: How Glaciers Form and Erode to Create Landforms – FreeSchool

  1. Glaciers don’t form anymore. Some glaciers will speed up and advance quickly, but that is relative to more water present for run off under the glacier functioning like a lubricant, so some of them will slide faster. Warm summers is what melts glaciers. If you had some snow but not a lot, but constantly cold summers you might have ice building up for glaciation. If you have tons of snow in winter but warm summers, your snow is going to go away an you won’t get ice building up. The reality is ice has been melting away for 13 thousand years. Most of South Central Alaska was a glacier back then, now we have cities, and highways and airports, and many miles of mountain valleys to enjoy, but we are loosing our drinking water source, as it comes from glaciers. Glaciers here use to be 3,000’ thick over the spot where Anchorage is today. There was a sea of ice that high spreading across 100 miles west and 25o miles north. It’s going away and people don’t want to try to reduce our impact on some of the processes that accelerate its melting.

  2. This video was helpful but I was actually falling asleep cause of the music(don't get me wrong it just kept making my eyes close) am I the only one that gets horror story video vibes from this

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