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Glaciers FAQs - 29 Found

Is glacier ice a type of rock?

Yes – glacier ice, like granite, is a type of rock. Glacier ice is actually a mono-mineralic rock (A rock made of only one mineral, like limestone which is composed of the mineral calcite.) The mineral ice is the crystalline form of water (H2O). It forms through the metamorphism of tens of thousands of individual snowflakes into crystals of glacier ice. Each snow flake is a single, six-sided (hexagonal) crystal with a central core and six projecting arms. The metamorphism process is driven by the weight of overlying snow. During metamorphism, hundreds, if not thousands of individual snowflakes recrystallize into much larger and denser individual ice crystals. Some of the largest ice crystals observed at Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier are nearly one foot in length.

Tags: Global Change, Glaciers, Climate, Snow, Ice, Polar