List of glaciers

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List of glaciers
Conness Glacier on Mount Conness

A glacier (US /ˈɡlʃər/ GLAY-shər) or (UK /ˈɡlæsiə/) is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight; it forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation (melting and sublimation) over many years, often centuries. Glaciers slowly deform and flow due to stresses induced by their weight, creating crevasses, seracs, and other distinguishing features. Because glacial mass is affected by long-term climate changes, e.g., precipitation, mean temperature, and cloud cover, glacial mass changes are considered among the most sensitive indicators of climate change.

Glaciers by Continent


Furtwängler Glacier (foreground) as it appeared in August 2003. Behind the glacier are snowfields and the Northern Icefield.

Africa, specifically East Africa, has contained glacial regions, possibly as far back as the last glacier maximum 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. Seasonal snow does exist on the highest peaks of East Africa[1][2] as well as in the Drakensberg Range of South Africa, the Stormberg Mountains, and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Currently, the only remaining glaciers on the continent exist on Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, and the Rwenzori.[3]


Canada Glacier in Antarctica

There are many glaciers in the Antarctic. This set of lists does not include ice sheets, ice caps or ice fields, such as the Antarctic ice sheet, but includes glacial features that are defined by their flow, rather than general bodies of ice. The lists include outlet glaciers, valley glaciers, cirque glaciers, tidewater glaciers and ice streams. Ice streams are a type of glacier[4] and many of them have "glacier" in their name, e.g. Pine Island Glacier. Ice shelves are listed separately in the List of Antarctic ice shelves. For the purposes of these lists, the Antarctic is defined as any latitude further south than 60° (the continental limit according to the Antarctic Treaty System).[5]

There are also glaciers in the subantarctic. This includes one snow field (Murray Snowfield). Snow fields are not glaciers in the strict sense of the word, but they are commonly found at the accumulation zone or head of a glacier.[6] For the purposes of this list, Antarctica is defined as any latitude further south than 60° (the continental limit according to the Antarctic Treaty).[7]



North America

There are a number of glaciers existing in North America, currently or in recent centuries. In the United States, these glaciers are located in nine states, all in the Rocky Mountains or further west. The southernmost named glacier among them is the Lilliput Glacier in Tulare County, east of the Central Valley of California.

Mexico has about two dozen glaciers, all of which are located on Pico de Orizaba (Citlaltépetl), Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, the three tallest mountains in the country.[8]

South America

Glaciers in South America develop exclusively on the Andes and are subject of the Andes various climatic regimes namely the Tropical Andes, Dry Andes and the Wet Andes. Apart from this there is a wide range of latitudes on which glaciers develop from 5000 m in the Altiplano mountains and volcanoes to reaching sealevel as tidewater glaciers from San Rafael Lagoon (45° S) and southwards. South America hosts two large ice fields, the Northern and Southern Patagonian Ice Fields, of which the second is the largest contiguous body of glaciers in extrapolar regions.

The glaciers of Chile cover 2.7% (20,188 km2[10]) of the land area of the country, excluding Antártica Chilena, and have a considerable impact on its landscape and water supply. By surface 80% of South America’s glaciers lie in Chile. Glaciers develop in the Andes of Chile from 27˚S southwards and in a very few places north of 18°30'S in the extreme north of the country:[11] in between they are absent because of extreme aridity, though rock glaciers formed from permafrost are common. The largest glaciers of Chile are the Northern and Southern Patagonian Ice Fields. From a latitude of 47° S and south some glaciers reach sea level.

Apart from height and latitude, the settings of Chilean glaciers depend on precipitation patterns; in this sense two different regions exist: the Dry Andes and the Wet Andes.


Animated map of the extent of the glaciers of the Carstens Range from 1850 to 2003

No glaciers remain on the Australia mainland or Tasmania. A few, like the Heard Island glaciers are located in the territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands in the southern Indian Ocean.

New Guinea has the Puncak Jaya glacier.

New Zealand contains many glaciers, mostly located near the Main Divide of the Southern Alps in the South Island. They are classed as mid-latitude mountain glaciers. There are eighteen small glaciers in the North Island on Mount Ruapehu.[12]


List of longest glaciers in world in non-polar regions

The following is the list of longest glaciers in the non-polar regions, generally regarded as between 60 degrees north and 60 degrees south latitude, though some definitions [13] expand it slightly.

  1. Fedchenko Glacier, Tajikistan - 77 km (48 mi) [14]
  2. Siachen Glacier, India - 76 km (47 mi) using the longest route as is done when determining river lengths or 70 km (43 mi) if measuring from Indira Col [15]
  3. Biafo Glacier, Pakistan - 67 km (42 mi)
  4. Brüggen Glacier, Chile - 66 km (41 mi)
  5. Baltoro Glacier, Pakistan - 63 km (39 mi)
  6. South Inylchek Glacier, Kyrgyzstan and China - 60.5 km (37.6 mi)
  7. Batura Glacier, Pakistan - 57 km (35 mi)

See also


  1. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  2. Hastenrath, Stefan (1984). The Glaciers of Equatorial East Africa. Solid Earth Sciences Library. Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-277-1572-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "East African Highlands | ICCI – International Cryosphere Climate Initiative". Retrieved 2014-03-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. National Snow and Ice Data Center. "Types of Glacier".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. The text of the Antarctic Treaty, article VI ("Area covered by Treaty") states: "The provisions of the present Treaty shall apply to the area south of 60° South latitude"
  6. Dr. Sue Ferguson, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. "Types of Glacier". University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Retrieved 1 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Office of Polar Programs (OPP) (26 April 2010). "The Antarctic Treaty". The National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia. Retrieved 1 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. White, Sidney E. (2001). "Glaciers of Mexico" (pdf). Glaciers of North America. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved July 8, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  11. Climate change and tropical Andean glaciers: Past, present and future
  12. Chinn, Trevor J.H., (1988), Glaciers of New Zealand, in Satellite image atlas of glaciers of the world, U.S. Geological Survey professional paper; 1386, ISBN 0-607-71457-3.
  14. Exact lengths are relatively easy to determine with modern maps and imagery so as to include recent glacial retreat. Measurements are from recent imagery, supplemented with Russian 1:200,000 scale topographic mapping as well as the 1990 "Orographic Sketch Map: Karakoram: Sheet 2", Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, Zurich.
  15. Dinesh Kumar (13 April 2014). "30 Years of the World's Coldest War". Chandigarh, India: The Tribune. Retrieved 18 April 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>