A glacier is a large persistent body of dense ice that constantly moves due to its own weight. It takes many many years, often centuries to form glaciers. Glaciers are simply breathtaking and are truly nature’s most wonderful phenomenon. Today, we share with you the list of 10 Largest Glaciers in the World.
Most of the people often assume Icebergs to be Glaciers. However, Glaciers and Icebergs are totally different entities.
While Glaciers form only on land, Icebergs are huge bodies of ice that float on water. In fact, Glaciers and Icebergs together account for most of the Earth’s fresh water.
Glaciers are found covering vast areas of the polar region as well as mountain ranges all over the world. They are made up of fallen snow that compresses into large, thickened ice masses over many years.
Glaciers are formed when snow remains in one location and transform into ice. Glaciers have the unique ability to move. They have sheer mass and move like slow rivers.
There are small as well as large glaciers. Some glaciers can be as small as football fields while others can be hundreds of kilometers long.
In fact, Glaciers occupy as much as 10 percent of the world’s total land area. Most of them are located in the Polar Regions like Greenland, Antarctica, and the Canadian Arctic.
They are the remnants from the last Ice Age. Moreover, Glaciers provide important global climate change signals.
Glaciers appear blue as water molecules absorb other colors more efficiently than blue.
Glaciers are an important source of water for plants, animals, and human uses. They store water during the colder seasons and release it in the form of meltwater during warm summer temperatures. Most of the perennial rivers are sourced by the melt waters from the glaciers.
So, let’s move on and see the World’s Biggest Glaciers.
We are sure it will be an amazing experience for you.
10 Biggest Glaciers in the World
10. Gangotri Glacier
The Gangotri Glacier is one of the largest glaciers of the Himalayas. It has the status of being a traditional Hindu pilgrimage site. The Gangotri Glacier is located in Uttarakhand, India in a region bordering China. The glacier is about 30 km long and 2 to 4 km wide.
It has an estimated volume of over 27 cubic kilometers. Its terminus, Gomukh, is the main source of the Ganges River. The glacier is surrounded by several peaks of the Gangotri Group such as Shivling, Meru, and Bhagirathi III.
9. Biafo Glacier
The Biafo Glacier is one of the longest glaciers in the world outside the Polar Regions. It stretches for 67 km in the Karakoram Mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. It meets the 49 km long Hispar Glacier at Hispar La (Pass) at an altitude of 5,128 m. They create the longest glacial system in the non-polar regions.
It serves as a highway between the ancient mountain kingdoms of Nagar, in the west and Baltistan, in the east. The traverse uses 51 km of Biafo Glacier and all of the Hispar Glacier forming a 100 km glacial route. The area is renowned for Himalayan Brown Bears and Snow Leopards.
8. Perito Moreno Glacier
The Perito Moreno Glacier of Argentina is located 48 miles from the town of El Calafate in the Los Glaciares National Park. It is a huge tourist attraction. Most of the tourists arrive in El Calafate for the sole purpose of visiting this Glacier. It is the third largest reserve of fresh water in the world.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the three Patagonian glaciers, and it is still growing. It is 30 km in length. The glacier can be viewed from a small boat on Lake Argentino. However, the adventurous tourists go on a walk on the glacier or take a helicopter flight.
7. Margerie Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska
The Margerie Glacier is one of the biggest and most amazing glaciers in the world stretching 34 km in length. It is located in the Glacier Bay Park in Alaska. Like the Perito Moreno Glacier, the Margerie Glacier is also a major tourist attraction.
6. Pasterze Glacier
The Pasterze Glacier is one of the most amazing glaciers outside the Polar Regions. It is located within the Hohe Tauern mountain range in Austria.
The Pasterze Glacier is the biggest glacier in Austria as well as in the Eastern Alps which stretches for 8.4 km in length. However, the glacier is shrinking and has been reduced to half its volume since its first measurement in 1851.
5. Furtwängler Glacier, Tanzania
The Furtwängler Glacier is one of the world’s largest glaciers. It is located near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The Furtwängler Glacier is a small remnant of an enormous icecap which once covered the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
However, it is expected that by the year 2020, the glacier may be gone. Already, 82% of the glacial ice has disappeared.
4. Fox and Franz Josef Glacier
The Fox and Franz Josef Glacier are located in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park of South Island, New Zealand. The Fox Glacier is 13 km in length, while the Franz Josef Glacier stretches 12 km in length.
They both descend from the Southern Alps to a temperate rainforest full of greenery and lushness. They are a tourist delight and present many breathtaking views.
3. Jostedalsbreen Glacier
The Jostedalsbreen Glacier is the largest glacier in the continent of Europe. It is located in Western Norway. The Jostedalsbreen Glacier stretches for about a length of 60 km which makes it one of the longest glaciers in the world outside Polar Regions.
It has around 50 glacier arms. The glacial region receives high snowfall all throughout the winter season. It presents many stunning and breathtaking views.
2. Siachen Glacier
The Siachen Glacier is located in the Karakoram Range between India and Pakistan, near the line of Control. It has a length of 76 km which makes it the longest glacier in the world in the non-polar region. It is also called Third Pole.
The Siachen Glacier is also the highest battleground on earth where Indian and Pakistani forces meet in a frozen standoff. Siachen has more than two trillion cubic feet of ice. It boasts of 45 peaks which rise to 18000 feet in height.
1. Fedchenko Glacier
The Fedchenko Glacier is one of the biggest glaciers in the world. It is located in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan in Central Asia. It stretches to a length of 77 km which makes it the longest glacier outside Polar Regions.
The Fedchenko Glacier has a dozen of the tributary glacier which gives rise to an amazing glacial river system.
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