Glaciers are moving bodies of ice that can change entire landscapes. They sculpt mountains, carve valleys, and move vast quantities of rock and sediment.
In the past, glaciers have covered more than one third of Earth's surface, and they continue to flow and to shape features in many places.
Types of Glaciers
Many different kinds of glaciers have affected our National Parks, whether they are present today or sculpted the landscape in the past. They include:
- Ice Sheets
- Ice Fields and Ice Caps
- Cirque and Alpine Glaciers
- Valley and Piedmont Glaciers
- Tidewater and Freshwater Glaciers
- Rock Glaciers
Glacier Ice Features
Active glaciers often have distinct features that are associated with the flowing, melting ice. You can see many of these features in parks with glaciers. Look for:
Past glaciers have created a variety of landforms that we see in National Parks today, such as: