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Dr. Farooq Ahmad
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II n ~~('d by: (r
M. Imran .~" )
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Roll #. 11 (Replica) l
-~ __ r--__________"
In tro d u ctio n --- - --- -------------------- ---------- ------------- - ------ ---- --------1
Snow line in Pakistan---------------------------------------------------------2
How a Glacier moves? -------------------------------------------------------3 I. Slope ofthe Earth:------------------------------------------cA II. Weight of Snow:-------------------------------------------.::.-4 III. Temperature: -------------------------------------------- ------- 5
Important Glaciers of Hunza valley u---------------------------------6
Kinds of Glaciers --------------------------------------------------------------8 / . q Vall~y Glacier: -~-----------------------------y 11) Continental Glacier: --------------------------9
6. Erosional Features Made by Alpine Glaciers-------------------u-9
Depositional Features Made by Alpine Glaciersu-u--m-------12 ~
Conclusion ----------------"-----------------------------------------------------~ fI 0
References-------------------------------------------------------------7[ ------111<-:7: ~ x_ if
-----.-- " -.
The geologic history of Pakistan is very complex in which mountains and other land features came into existence. It is said that the process of formation of mountains and other landforms started from the Upper Eocene to Pleistocene. This process is still now going on. But Pleistocene time in Pakistan has much importance because Uplifting of Ilimalayas did very rapidly and the Pleistocene period or ice age started in Pakistan, especially in Himalayan ranges, karakorarns and hindukush ranges. Salt range covered with glaciers in Pleistocene time but in the early of Holocene lime, Glaciers began to melt or retreat and now the salt range exposed. Potwar Plateau covered with glaciers but in l lolocene period, they retreated Potwar to Hindukush ranges. The pot~r region is an elevated plain which includes Rawalpindi and other parts of Punjab. The Siwalike are comparatively recent formation, comprising of wind blown material and fresh water deposits. These important deposits are dated as early as late Miocene till early middle Pleistocene age. Some areas of Himalayas in which Hunza valley, swaat, Chitral and Bulkistan in south east of Ciuchin are very important because in Pleistocene time, Glaciers existed in these valleys. Snow line in Pleistocene lime, was about 800 feet but now, it is 18000 feet or more than 4,600 meters abov7vel.
Definition of Glacier
There are many definitions but most important are follow:
I. According to Flint (1957), "A glacier is a mass of ice and fim or neve formed by recrystallization of snow and melt water which lies entirely or largely on and gives evidence of either present or fanner movement".
2. According to A. Das Gupta, "Due to pressure, slope and the pull of gravity this ice begins to move and this
ice stream is known as a glacier". /
3. According to Arthur, N. Strahler, "any large natural accumulation of land iei affected by present or past flowage".
Snow Line in Pakistan
Snow line is defined as:
l. "The lower limit of permanent snow is called snow line".
9000 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000
~I ~. i
a Degrees La ti tude
2. According to A. S. Harris, "The line or elevation, on which the snow does not melt, during any season, is called snow/fim line or tree line".
3. According to A. Das Gupta, "the line above which there is perpetual snow is knowrs the snow line".
In Pleistocne time or ice age, snow line was about 800 feet but now the snow line in Pakistan is about 18,000 feet or mote than 4,600 meters above sea level.
How a Glacier moves?
Here the question rises, how fast do glaciers move? But in general, valley glaciers move more rapidly than continental glaciers, but the rate for both vary, ranging from centimeters to tens of meters per day. Valley glaciers moving down steep slopes flow more rapidly than glaciers of comparable size on gentle slopes, assuming that all other variables are the same. The main glacier in a valley glacier system contains a greater volume of ice and thus has a greater discharge and flow velocity than its tributaries. Flow rates also vary within the ice itself. For example, flow velocity generally increases in the zone of accumulation until the fim limit is reached; from that point, the velocity becomes progressively slower towards the glacier's terminus.~ Vll / glaciers are similar to rivers, in that the valley walls and floor cause frictional resistance to flow, so the ice i contact with the walls and floor moves more slowly than the ice some distance away. The movement of a gla . er also varies in the different parts of the glacier but it depends upon three parameters:
1. Slope of the earth:
2. Weight of snow:
1. Slope of the Earth
The speed of motion becomes quicker with steeper slopes and if the slope is gentle, the movement of glacier will be
very slow. Flow of a Glacier //
II ,...... ZONE --lOr _ ABLATION ZONE _
\J EQUILIBRIUM LINE 0
Besides it, Gravity of the earth affects the movement of glacier because it pulls or attracts the glacier downward by which the movement of glacier is very fast.
2. Weight of Snow
The rate of the speed of glacier depends upon the size of the glacier. The bigger is the glacier; the daily rate of motion would be greater and if the size of the glacier is less than it will be moved slowly .
.. . _,._----_ ... _, .. _ ...
. . :.,
Average rate of ablation in Pakistan is 3.25 centimeters in a year. This is the movement of slope. Thus, a glacier moves faster in summer when the temperature is near freezing point than several degrees lower than the freezing point.
The speed also varies with the temperature. Lower the temperature, slower is the movement. Maximum ablation starts from May and continues till August and snow falling or the accumulation of snow starts from mid August and it continues approximately March. One thing, which is most important that is duration of day & night because when time or duration of day will be more, temperature will be high and the Earth will receive less sunlight. If the period of night is more, obviously, temperature will be low.
-,- .. ,----------~---'.- ~~--- -~-~-,-~--- .. -.---
TRANSVERSE SECTION TI-/ROL/cr-! INDUS TE/~RA[ES NEAR CONFLUENCE wITH 50.4,;\ RIVER .
T 1 '1-';'.:'. c "'~~";::i".t T2, U"jER·,.~(:.J:ENt T3 , .. ,p,.,~c "C:'.s'-::r:';c
.,._ .._ "-"'. , .. ~. ' -', _'_,
T 4 ,,_,C'o,~,cc ".Eo ·f;· t". T5 , ~'" .. ,'.'
Glacial terraces show that climate has changed due to rise in temperature. During third and fourth, we can see sudden changes on the earth's surface due to rise in the temperature and it shows the temperature was more than 48°C and the glacial deposits are found on the earth's surface during last glaciation, which shows in above diagram.
Important Glaciers of the Hunza Valley
t. There are many glaciers of hunza valley but most important are as under:
)0 Batura glacier
). Passu glacier
> Hisper glacier
) Ultar glacier
> Baltoro glacier > Biafo glacier
);> Baltar glacier
i. Batura Glacier
Batura glacier is found in Hunza valley, which is located in Karakoram mountain range.
The length ofbatura glacier is 59 kilometers.
ii. Passu Glacier
Passu glacier is found in Hunza valley and
it is the important glacier in Pakistan and it
is also located in Karakoram mountain range. One of the countless glaciers that slowly flows through the Karakoram. Northern Pakistan is second only to the subpolar regions in glacia1 expanse.
iii. Hisper Glacier
Hisper is also found in hunza valley that is located in Karakoram mountains range. The length of hisper IS 61 kilometers.
~ •• OO' ..L_ _..J
Fig. I. Location map showing P~mariki,h Glacier flawing into tht northem matgin if Hispar Glacier. The arrow idmtifies tIlt location oj phoJogrl1phs sh~wl1 in Figure 2.
iv. Ultar Glacier
Ultar glacier is found in hunza valley and it has much importance among others.
v. Baltoro Glacier
Baltoro is another glacier that is found in hunza valley and has the more significance among others.
vi. Biafo Glacier
The name of Biafo is a locally name and it is located in hunza valley. The length ofbiafo glacier is 62.5 kilometers.
Kinds of Glaciers
All glaciers share some characteristics, but they also vary in several ways. Some are confined to mountain valleys or bowl-shaped depressions on mountainsides, and flow from higher to lower elevations. Others are of much greater thickness and extent: they flow outward from centers of accumulation and are completely unconfined by topography. Thus, we recognize two basic types of glaciers: valley and continental, and some variations on these basic types.
1. Valley Glaciers:
2. Continental Glaciers:
1. Valley Glaciers
A valley glacier, as its name implies, is confined to a mountain valley through which ittiows from higher to lower elevations. We use the term valley glacier here, but alpine and mountain glaciers are synonyms. Many valley glaciers have smaller tributary glaciers entering them, just as rivers and streams have tributaries, thus forming a network of glaciers in a system of interconnected valleys. A valley glacier's shape is obviously controlled by the
shape of the valley it occupies, so these glaciers are long, narrow tongues of moving ice. .
Valley glaciers are invariably small compared to continental glaciers, but even so they may be several kilometers across, 200 km long, and hundreds of meters thick. For instance, the Bering Glacier in Alaska is about 200 km long, and the Saskatchewan Glacier in Canada is 555meters thick.
2. Continental Glaciers
Continental glaciers, also known as ice sheets, cover at least 50,000 km square and are unconfined by topography. That is, their shape and movement are not controlled by the underlying landscape. Valley glaciers flow downhill within the confines of a valley, but continental glaciers flow outward in all directions from central areas of accumulation in response to variations in ice thickness. Continental glaciers are currently present only in Greenland and Antarctica.
Glaciers make the landforms in two ways, which are important. These two ways.are as under:
I. Erosional Landforms Made by Alpine Glaciers
II. Depositional Landforms Made by Alpine Glaciers
I. Erosional Landforms Made by Alpine Glaciers
Glacier primarily erodes land in two ways. First on Glacier flows over a fractured bedrock-surface, it looses and lifts blocks of rock, incorporates them into the ice, and carries them off. This process is known as "Plucking".
The second major erosional process is abrasion.
As the ice with its load of rock fragments move along, it acts as giant rasp or file and grinds the surface below as well as the rocks within the ice. Alpine glacier generally gives rise to erosional features in the highland areas. Some of the world's inspiring scenery results from erosion by valley glaciers or alpine glaciers. The erosional landforms resulting from valley glaciation are easily recognized and enable us to appreciate the tremendous erosive power of moving ice. The characteristic features of a glacial highland are as follows:
2. Cirque Lakes:
3. U-Shaped Valley/ Glacial Trough:
4. Hanging Valley:
The word "Cirque" is used in different languages; for instance, in German (Kar), Welsh (cwm), Scotish (corrie) and in Scandinavian (Botn or Kjedel). Perhaps the most spectacular erosional landforms in areas of valley glaciation are at the upper ends of glacial troughs and along the divides separating adjacent glacial troughs. Valley glaciers form and move out from step-wa1led, bowl-shaped depressions called Cirques at the upper end of their troughs. Cirques are typically steep-walled on three sides, but one side opens into a glacial trough. Such good examples find in hunza valley.
2. Cirque Lakes
When the climate is warm enough, cirques are no longer filled with snow, small circular lakes are found on the floors of the cirque basins. These lakes, sometimes dammed up behind the lips of the cirque, and-are known as "tarns" or "cirque lakes". Such lakes may be several kilometers wide and 50 km (30 miles) or more long. In
Pakistan "Lake Saif-ul-Malook" is best example of cirque Lakes, which is located in the Upper kaghan valley, and Satpura Lake is found near Sakardu. The "Finger Lakes" in U.S.A. is the best examples.
3. U-Shaped Valley
One of the most distinctive features of valley glaciation is a U-shaped glacial trough. Mountain valleys eroded by running water are typically V -shaped in cross section; that is they have valley walls that descend to a narrow valley bottom. U-shaped valley is also known as Glacial Trough.
In contrast, valley s glaCiers are so possess very steep or vertical walls, but have broad, rather flat valley floors; thus, they exhibit a U-shaped profile. Such U-shaped valley examples find in the upper part of Hunza valley, Batura valley and some other parts of North em areas of Pakistan.
4. Hanging Valley
Waterfalls can form in several ways, but some of the world's highest and most spectacular are found in recently
glaciated areas. c>
When a smaller glacier joins a larger one, the valley of tributary glacier, as viewed from the floor of the main glacier, seems to "hang". Such a discordant junction is called a "hanging valley" or "hanging trough". In Pakistan, in hunza valley, Passu and Batura Glacier cut their valleys deeper than their tributaries are able to do.
Aretes or pyramidal peaks are large number of razor-shape, often jagged ridges that rise above the ice containing troughs. These ridges often separate adjacent glaciers or glacial valleys, and are known as "aretes", They can develop when two large cirques intersect, but more often they form erosion and frost wedging in two parallel glacial valleys. Some good examples are found in Himalayan ranges, Karakoram ranges and Hindu Kush ranges.
Two, three or more cirques may develop near the top of a mountain, in time these cirques may intersect by growing headward erosion. Now, nothing remains of the original rounded mountaintop, except a steep-sided, sharp-edged ,.,~,~.~ .... known as "Horn". Such good example is located in Hunza valley but same examples find in the Swiss Alps as MatterHorn.
II. Depositional Features Made by Alpine Glaciers
Alpine/Valley/Mountain glaciers effectively erode and transport, but eventually they deposits their sediment load as glacial drift, a general term for all deposits resulting from glacial activity. Vast Pleistocene glacial deposits are present in upper Indus plains, lower Indus plains and in potwar plateau. The followings are some important depositonal features, made by the aggradation of alpine glaciers:
1. Glacial Moraines:
2. Valley Trains:
3. Outwash Plain:
4. Esker: __ /
5. Glacial Terraces:
1. Glacial Moraines
Landforms composed of several types of moraines, in which:
1. Lateral Moraines:
11. Medial Moraines:
111. Ground Moraines:
iv. Terminal Moraines:
i. Lateral Moraines
Lateral Moraines are broken rock material that are formed on the sides of a glacier or in any case, when a glacier melts, this sediment is deposited as long ridges of till called "Lateral moraines". These lateral moraines are in a single file and the rock material in them lacks consolidation. Some lateral moraines deposits are found in Siwalik and Salt ranges but also, they find in hunza valley.
ii. Medial Moraines
They are formed at the point where two glaciers meet.
As one ice flow meets another, their later moraines also join together. These are in the form of long narrow ridges arranged in the direction of the flow or the slope. This type of moraines is found in Potwar plateau because in Pleistocene time, Glaciers existed in this region but in the early Holocene,
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iii. Ground Moraines
Ground moraines are those, which are generally found strewn on the valley floor after the glacier has dissipated. It consists of rock flour and also large polished striated boulders. Because of its bouldery nature it is also called "boulder clay". Depending on the movement of the ice, ground moraines are irregularly .disturbed. Where the movement is vigorous, the ground moraines are not deposited. On the other hand, the ground.rrioraines or sheet of boulder clay is left where the motion of ice decreases. This type of deposit material is found in "Batura valley, Hunza valley and Salt range and some material is found in Potwar plateau and adjoining areas.
iv. Terminal Moraines
They are concentric ridges of an assorted rock material dropped by the ice as it melted. These are made of rock fragments widely varying in size and shape and are also known as "marginal moraines". Every ridge of marginal moraine is crescent shaped. Their width, height and expanse are variable. Their width is from a few feet to a few miles and they are hundreds of feet high. Some deposits are located in Karakoram ranges and Hind Kush ranges.
2. Valley Trains
Valley glaciers discharge huge amount of melt water and have braided streams extending from them. However, these streams are confined to the lower parts of glacial troughs, and their long, naIT6~ deposits of stratified drift are known as "Valley Trains". This type material is found in hunza, batura, and gilgit valleys but some old materials, which brought by glaciers in Pleistocene time, are found in Salt range and Potwar Plateau.
3. Outwash Plain
When after the deglaciation such alluvium is deposited, somewhat in a flattish topography, it is.called an "Outwash Plain". In Pleistocene time, When Glaciers existed in Potwar region at that time Outwash plains became but in the early start of Holocene, they retreated and thus, the old Pleistocene glacial outwash plains have remained. They are not only in Potwar but also in other parts of Pakistan. For instance; they existed in salt range and other areas.
A long narrow sinuous ridge composed of coarse and sand and gravel deposited by glacier calle~"Eskers". Some eskers are quite high, as much as I 00 meters, and can be traced for more than 1 00 km. Most eskers are in areas once covered by continental glaciers, but they are also associated with large valley glaciers. These eskers, also knwn by the name of osar in Scandinavia, are so narrow that they are never more than a few feet. This type of some features find in karakoram ranges and Hindu Kush ranges.
5. Glacial Terraces
Glacial terraces are also old features of glaciers or glaciation, which provide the evidence of Glaciers in Potwar plateau. These terraces came into existence when Holocene period started because Glaciers retreated in this period from Potwar to Hunza valley.
J_:;gW "-'·'·_·--iaWA:"· .~'"""---~.- •• <---- .. - --_ .. _--
TRANSVERSE SECTION TI-IK()UG/-/ INZ]CS TE,RRACES
NEAR [Ol'!_FL_U[(~~~_~J_T_h~. __ ~O~~~'_!l£~~R_- <
TO . ;! iDC,,_ ~ ~L ~ ~ T-~ :.::: ~~~ ,_"':
T 1 "W-Y~ "<EC~':::UE :!>'2i
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, terraces show that climate has changed due to rise in temperature. During first & second glaciation, we can a little size in temperature, during the second and third glaciation temperature rise up to 39°C t6 45°C and ble changes on the earth surface or witness about changes in the temperature and during third and fourth, we see sudden changes on the earth's surface due to rise in the temperature and it shows the temperature was more 48°C and the glacial deposits are found on the earth's surface during last glaciation.
Since the last glaciation to now, Glaciers are retreating or reducing because climate pattern has completely changed and after that Environmental degradation is increasing now, along with Global warming is the major factor in increase the temperature. Thus, the rate of ablation is increasing rather than the rate of accumulation. This is very dangerous for us because when temperature will be increased, all Glaciers will be melted which cause the rise of sea level and all continents will be immersed. All scientists and geologists agree on this statement that if this process goes on than it would be dangerous. Especially, Himalayan mountain ranges which are the big sources of water in south Asia, are melting rapidly. In the last century, temperature increased almost 1 degree but in current situation, the rate of temperature is rising, it is due to Geo-thermal radiation and Global warming. In Pakistan, the average rate of Glacier's melt is 3.25 centimeters per year. All scientists agree that if thisp;.ocess goes on than it follows the Glaciation, which will be started about next 10,000 to 14,000 years.
SELECTED EXAMPLES OF ICE MELT AROUND THE WORLD
Sea ice has thinned from near 3 meters to less than 2 meters over the last 35 years.
Arctic Sea Ice Arctic Ocean
Record-low ice recorded in 2002 and 2003; summers could be ice-free by 2050.
Ross Ice Shelf Ross Sea
Has thinned by more than a meter a year on its southern and eastern edges since 1993; now thinning more than four times faster than during most ofthe 20th century. Annual loss is 51 cubic kilometers.
Over the past 5 years lost more than 5,700 square kilometers, 3,250 square kilometers
of which disintegrated in early 2002. C/
In March of 2000, iceberg B-15 measuring over 10,000 square kilometeJs calved off the shelf; a second large section, C-19, covering 6,200 square kilometefs calved in May 2002.
Greenland Ice G I d
Sheet reen an
Larsen B Ice Antarctic Shelf Peninsula
l. Flint, R.F. (1967). Glacial and Pleistocene Geology. New York. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
2. Dr. Farooq Ahmad (1988-90). A Study of Glaciological and Hydrological Problems of Hunza Valley and River Indus between Besham & Thakot. Lahore.
3. Class Lecture Notes.
4. Net Resources:
1. Based on Google search
~ wWw.google.com www.lceage.com www.geology.com www.Pleistocene.com www.Quatemaryera.com www.causesofclimate.com www.climaticchanges.com www.globalwarming.com www.thelittleiceage.com www.usgs.com www.Novaonline.com
www.GSP.com www.pleistocene.com www.geomorphology.com www.geography.com www.climatictheory.com www~continentaldri ft. com
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