Explainer: Ice sheets and glaciers
Here’s how and where these ice blankets form
By Douglas Fox, 16:39 PM September 4, 2013
Ice covers nearly all of Antarctica’s 14 million square kilometers (5.4 million square miles) of land. In some places, that ice is nearly 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) thick. It formed as snow piled up over many thousands of years. Gradually, the snow compacted into ice. Scientists call this vast, frozen blanket an ice sheet. A second, smaller ice sheet covers much of Greenland.
An ice sheet may look stationary, but it is always moving.
The lower layers are under crushing weight — in some place...
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