Glaciers: Rivers of Ice

Glaciers are solid, moving masses of ice formed when snow is compressed into ice in regions with heavy snow accumulations and cool summers. They appear on all continents, except Australia, and can be of different types: mountain, valley, and tidewater.

Because of their enormous weight and the force of gravity, glaciers flow like rivers, sculpting the land during their journeys. Icebergs— immense floating blocks of ice—break off, or “calve,” from tidewater and mountain glaciers that touch the sea.

graphic for the temporary exhibit Extreme Ice: Evidence of Global Warming Now, April 18, 2008-October 31,2008. Contract was with James Balog Photography and the Extreme Ice Survey (JBP/EIS)

Glacier Dynamics, All Rights Reserved, Bailey Archive, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

As in earlier centuries, contemporary artists and scientists are calling attention to the world’s glaciers. No longer concerned with distant geologic time, artists now interpret the accelerated pace of climate change occurring within a human lifespan. Many photographers and filmmakers have made it their mission to document the fate of retreating glaciers.

Top Banner Image: Lawren Harris, Isolation Peak, Rocky Moutains, 1930, oil on canvas, Hat Hous Permaent Collction University of Toronto, Canada