Glaciers are a bulk of ice moving under its weight. It is an important geographical term for students preparing for the IAS Exam or any other Government Exam.
Geography is a significant part of the General Studies Paper-1 in the UPSC Syllabus.
Students choosing their Optional Subject as Geography for UPSC Mains Exam can also find this article useful.
What is Glacier?
Glaciers are a bulk of ice moving under its weight. It forms in areas where the amassing of snow goes beyond its ablation over many years.
- They are generally seen in the snow-fields.
- This largest freshwater basin covers around 10 percent of the land surface of the Earth.
- According to the topography and the location of the glacier, it can be categorized as Mountain Glacier (Alpine Glaciers) or Continental Glacier (Ice Sheets).
- The Continental Glacier moves outward in all directions whereas the Mountain Glacier moves from a higher to a lower altitude.
Types of Glaciers
Glaciers can be distinguished in two major categories based on its type:
|Alpine Glaciers||Ice Sheets|
Glaciers have played a prominent role in the shaping of landscapes in the mid and high latitudes of alpine environments. The major landforms made by glaciers are:
|Glacial Erosional Landforms||Glacial Depositional Landforms|
|The major erosional landforms made by glaciers are:
||The major depositional landforms made by glaciers are:
Glaciers in India
Glaciers in India relevant to UPSC can be listed as follows:
|Batura Glacier||Jammu & Kashmir||Karakoram Mountain Range|
|Khurdopin Glacier||Jammu & Kashmir||Karakoram Mountain Range|
|Hispar Glacier||Jammu & Kashmir||Karakoram Mountain Range|
|Biafo Glacier||Jammu & Kashmir||Karakoram Mountain Range|
|Baltoro Glacier||Jammu & Kashmir||Karakoram Mountain Range|
|Chomolungma glacier||Jammu & Kashmir||Karakoram Mountain Range|
|Diamir Glacier||Jammu & Kashmir||Karakoram Mountain Range|
|Siachen Glacier||Jammu & Kashmir||Karakoram Mountain Range|
|Gangotri Glacier||Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand||Himalayas|
|Milam Glacier||Uttarakhand||Trishul peak of Pithoragarh|
|Pindari glacier||Nanda Devi, Uttarakhand||Upper reaches of the Kumaon Himalayas|
|Zemu Glacier||Sikkim||Eastern Himalaya Located on Kanchenjunga peak|
This is an important glacier in India.
- Largest Glacier in Uttarakhand.
- Source of the Ganges. (River Bhagirathi)
- The Gangotri glacier originates at the northern slope of Chaukhamba range of peaks in Garhwal Himalayas.
- Gangotri is not a single valley glacier, but a combination of several other glaciers.
Carbon Deposits on Gangotri
- The Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology is an Autonomous Institute administered by the Department of Science and Technology.
- They have the Chirbasa station at a height of 3,600 m and Bhojbasa station at a height of 3,800 m.
- They research the number of carbon deposits on the important glaciers of the Himalayas. Gangotri being the source of the Ganges is one of the most important Glaciers in the country.
- According to recent data from the research, the concentration of Black Carbon present on the Gangotri Glacier has doubled when compared to the results of the past few years.
- The primary reason for this is the agricultural burning and forest fires in the nearby regions.
Students can note this point as an important prelims fact for the UPSC Prelims under the segment UPSC Environment and Ecology.
Glaciers UPSC Geography Notes:- Download PDF Here