The process of formation of large sheets of ice on earth?


Question: The process of formation of large sheets of ice on earth?

The formation of large ice sheets on Earth is a process that spans thousands of years. It begins with snowfall accumulating over time, which does not fully melt during the summer months. As more snow piles up year after year, the layers beneath are compressed and gradually transform into dense ice. This transformation occurs through a series of stages where the snow first becomes granular firn, and then, under the weight of additional snowfall, fuses into solid ice. Once the ice mass reaches a thickness of about 50 meters, it begins to move under its own weight, flowing outward in all directions to form an ice sheet. These ice sheets can cover vast areas exceeding 50,000 square kilometers and contain the majority of the Earth's fresh water. Presently, the only two ice sheets on Earth are the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, which are remnants of the extensive ice sheets that covered much of the planet during the last glacial period.


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