continental glacier is a huge mass of ice that covers a lot of land
near the Arctic or Antarctic polar
regions. Continental glaciers are found in and around the Arctic,
Antarctic circles, Greenland and islands in the polar regions. These
huge glaciers are nothing more than huge chunks of ice that began
with a single snowfall. First a layer of snow falls in one area.
After a while more snow falls until the layer is thicker. Each time
a new layer of snow falls it adds weight to the glacier. The layers
below the top layer begin to squeeze together until most of air
is squeezed out from between the particles of snow. At this point
ice forms from the crushed snow. So, the lower ice layers in a glacier
are thinner and denser
than the layers toward the top of the glacier. This process has
gone on for millions of years.
the Arctic circle continental glaciers are mostly built on top of
frozen sea water, but the glaciers do spread out onto the land that
it touches. Year after year the ice and snow pile up until it weighs
millions of tons. Some continental glaciers are nearly one mile
deep. Over time the lowest layers of the glacier melt a little bit.
Gravity will pull the glacier down any slope
on the slippery layer of ice at the bottom of the glacier.