Free Are Rivers Or Glaciers More Effective At Eroding Landscapes? Research Paper Sample

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Soil, Erosion, Information, Effective, Study, Science, Landscape, Glacier

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2021/02/28


This paper is aimed to write the findings of the erosion of landscape through rivers or glaciers. It is also meant to research the correct erosive power of landscape; it is either river or glacier. It has been a long-term debate. The debate is going on for centuries to discover the more effective erosive power; rivers or glaciers. The scientists have made different contributions by presenting their viewpoint and try to justify through different scientific reasoning to prove their findings (Department of Geography n.p.). According to a scientific claim, it is said that glaciers have powerful effects on eroding landscape as compared to rivers. The association of the landscape with glaciated terrain has created the argument that glaciers are more effective than rivers (Koppes, Michele N. & Montgomery, D.R., 1).


Glaciers are used as the part of an investigation by the authority of climate change. They are sensitive tools for assessing and interpret the weather. Thus, they are considered as one of the focal points of investigations by the scientists. This can be a great help in assessing the future and to predict the weather of future. Thousands of lives can be saved if the tool is used correctly by the scientists and in timely manner. The nature has gifted us everything, which is with multiple usefulness. On the other hand, glaciers can be a great cause of calamities like floods. The rise in sea level is also an outcome of the presence of glaciers throughout the world. They can be a great cause of change in magnitude of mountains and associated regions. In short, they can be very disastrous for a time being for the people of this earth. Where they are fruitful by helping in analyzing past events and behaviors of calamities including future occurrences of such events, they are harmful too by earlier discussed facts. One of the efficient works of glaciers is an efficient erosion of the landscape. They can send strong signals to down streams and up streams which are a resultant factor for sedimentation and erosion.

Glaciers as factor of Erosion of Landscape

It has been scientifically established that glaciers are effective tools for erosion. The elevated peaks and trench valleys are produced artistically as work of erosion that is caused by glaciers as one of the most effective tool for other functions and as the most active and effective agent of erosion. The Mount Everest and Glacier National Parks are great examples of such outcome. It has been admitted by Hallet et al in their research paper that it has been found that the ratio of erosion is greater due to glaciers as compared to other agents (Hallet et al., 213–235). Thus based on efficient research, this can be said that the glaciers are substantial contributors to sediments and mountain valleys (Hallet et al., 213–235).
The process of erosion through is on mountain landscape. This can be further explained by the following figure.
Figure 1 (Montgomery, 2000)
As it has been observed from Fig 1 that glacier causes the unloading of the crust of soil through the process of erosion. The process of glacier erosion provokes rock to come up on the ranges of mountainous area. Because of this elevation of rocks, peaks are formed on mountains. These peaks are used as a catalyst by the nature for the formation of further other forms of glaciers and thus the process goes on and does not stop at a point. These phenomena of rising rock and formation of peaks and then the transformation of glaciers through the process of erosion are in Himalaya ranges. This processed is termed as ‘tectonic aneurysm’ (Zeitler et al., 4-9). There are further several studies, which have been done in this regard like ‘glacial buzzsaw’ and fluvial erosion methods but it is highly acceptable on universal level that the glaciers are the most efficient agents of effective erosion. This case because of high latitudes and altitudes.
For further continuing the discussion after understanding the process of erosion and the glacier involvement in this natural phenomenon, it is highly necessary to establish a system where a proper arrangement is for recording and documentation of the rates and speed on on-going basis. This is done not only on mountainous regions or on glaciers but also on catchments and landforms too. The correct picture is then will be . It is also highly important to do the same for rivers. The continuous documentation of all the facts in a proper scientific manner can further lead us to drive at the conclusion. For the sake of this paper, it has been not done due to less span of time but it is that it will be done further once research in this regard is started.
It is further highly desirable to understand and research the interaction of air and landscape to stable the ice on glaciers. These interactions will further help the glaciers in contributing the effective process of sedimentation and erosion. The patterns are set by the atmosphere on snow. The melt of snow is then used by the nature to balance the process of erosion on the landscape. It has already been discussed by scientific studies that it is one of the most efficient stimulators of erosion. These interactions and the resultant patterns are meant to create balance on glaciers. Another important aspect, which is with glacier activity, is sliding that also done by the process of erosion. The products of erosions are also needed to be studied based on measuring on time scale where the delivery is to sinks. This all done by the process of erosion and become a part of the study of glaciers. This highly important to evaluate all these aspects once we start doing studies on glaciers. If we are with our understanding of the correct nature and functioning of the system, then the correct method is applied to evaluate on data about the process of erosion and then we will be able to draw conclusion about the correct outcome. For all such purposes, correct readings regarding river erosion and glacier erosion are required. For instance after having good understanding of glaciers and the functioning of glaciers now we are able to admit that for being keep ourselves into time frame and due to limited availability of resources we would be taken secondary research as it has been put forward by other geologists and scientists. The renowned work in this regard will be into account for drawing a conclusion. For the purpose of doing the correct understanding and drawing a conclusion, it is required to scrutinize the data and focus must be shifted to identify the process of erosion on the landscape. This done by firstly doing correct observation then recording the facts, doing experiments, and then judgment is passed after complete analysis of all the above-mentioned process.
Glaciers are a powerful and destructive factor shaping folded mountain areas. So, as an example of the Andes shows that glaciers dramatically increase erosion and thus contribute to the reduction and smoothing peaks. More erosion than the lower mountain. Erosion reaches maximum effectiveness at the border of Glacier Power ( Equilibrium line altitude ) - that is, the height at which the rate of accumulation of snow and ice around balanced speed the removal of ice (it is the net result of melting, evaporation, tearing ice avalanches and so on. d.); see. Section Anatomy of the glacier. Geologists adhere to the hypothesis is confirmed by the empirical evidence that the lower the power line (and hence higher efficiency erosion), the lower should be the modern mountain. Global climate cooling and glaciations should lead to an acceleration of the destruction of the mountains, their height should be , the base of the mountain range to become narrower and more rugged mountain slopes. Some data on the late glaciations (5-7 million years ago) confirm these theoretical calculations.


A study is by Hallet, Hunter, and Bogen. They calculated the rates of erosion by glaciers for finding the correct impact of glaciers and the role that is played by the glaciers. This done to find the true nature of the belief that is quite old that the glaciers are more effective erosive agents. For this purpose, rates were recorded for erosion as well as for sediments evacuations.
For carrying on the study, data was gathered. It was kept quite substantial that the data is gathered from all the available sources and is assembled in form that is more detailed. All minute availability of data was gathered and was kept for the purpose of observation and experimentation. The data is also being made available from different sources and in different fields so that the true and correct findings can be . These techniques are helpful in removing biases from data since data is from much-diversified sources and fields. Therefore, the chances of repetition and monotony are kept minimal. The corrective measures can be applied and taken I this regard where diversity is in mind.
The major focus was shifted to sedimentation and the data that is collected from sediments in the form of evaluations. This also includes bedrock erosion. These evaluations we recollected from basins of glaciers, where they were stored for so many years. The data is meant to be the effective way of expressing the rate of erosion by glaciers. The magnitude that was recorded by them varies from 0.01 mm yr-1, 0.1 mm yr-1, 1.0 mm yr-1 and 10-100 mm yr-1.


The results of the study were declared by them proves that the sediments collected as specimens for the purpose of research by the scientists shows erosion rates as higher by the glaciers. This shows that the glaciers are great catalysts for effective erosions. The samples from Alaska were made for drawing such results. Others were from Norway and Iceland. All the findings show the same results. The same conclusions have been drawn based on the entire sample, which has been studied by the scientists. The thorough investigation in this regards was quite fulfilling and supports and provokes further studies on different regions such as on Himalaya and other landscape regions to prove the facts that glaciers are effective tools and stringent way of erosion.


After studying all the possible facts and available resources on the given, it has been established by the facts and figures in this research paper that the glaciers are the correct and effective tools or catalysts for effective erosions. It has already been established in this paper that the erosion and sedimentations are two crucial and important tools, which are highly important to study for the purpose of safety and future predictions. The correct knowledge provides more efficient ways for further investigations. After going through different research papers and readings it is also important to establish that the diversified form of data is required to be collected on recent basis so that fresh studies can be by the interested scientists in this regard. In addition, the collection should be made from different landscapes to further strengthening the arguments. Briefly it is scientifically established the universal truth that glaciers are more efficient tools for erosion, or they are more erosive than rivers. For future reference, it is suggested to study the same patterns for rivers to make it more adamant. The argument will be strong if the cross analysis is done.


Koppes, Michele N. & Montgomery, D.R., 2009, the relative efficacy of fluvial and glacial erosion over modern to organic timescales - Koppes.pdf: Nature Geosciences, v. 2, p. 1–4.
Hallet, B., Hunter, L., and Bogen, J., 1996, Rates of erosion and sediment evacuation by glaciers: A review of field data and their implications: Global and Planetary Change, v. 12, p. 213–235.
Montgomery, 2000D.R. Montgomery. Valley formation by fluvial and glacial erosion. Geology, 30 (2000), pp. 1047–1050
Zeitler, A.S. Meltzer, P.O. Koons, D. Craw, B. Hallet, C.P. Chamberlain, W.S.F. Kidd, S. Park, L. Seeber, M.P. Bishop, J. Shroder. Erosion, Himalayan geodynamics, and the geomorphology of metamorphism GSA Today, 11 (2001), pp. 4–9

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