Journal entries Geology class Essay

Part I. Essentially a cover sheet that addresses the following:

What was I supposed to learn today?

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It is interesting to know that glaciers have a significant relation to the supply of water on earth and that its decrease or increase will have a significant effect on the balance of the earth or equilibrium. Things that people seldom see as important after all may have great relation to the world where we live.

What were the troublesome words and concepts?

            Basically, I just had to look for definitions of snowline and glacier (which weren’t too difficult) and the rest were easy.
Was the material well supported?

            Yes, the reference I used was a book by James Gilluly in 1958 entitled Principles of Geology which you can see on the reference page.

Determine how this information can be applied to either my life or to society.

            Glaciers are after all important to humanity. According to my research, it has a significant relation to the balance of the supply of water in the whole world. Analytically, there is a big possibility of water shortage and imbalance if glaciers on earth are diminished.

Part II

How do glaciers and snow modify and affect mountain ranges? How do they affect the banks in the water economy of the earth?

If snow merely continued to accumulate each winter, even the highest mountains in arctic regions would eventually be buried. Ice, however, is not a strong mineral, and its strength limits the height to which it can accumulate. Before any great thickness is reached, the ice at the bottom begins to creep and flow outward under the overlying weight. Thus, from the snow and firn a flowing ice mass, or glacier, is formed.

Snowfields and glaciers are savings banks in the water economy of the earth. Each year, some of the water evaporated from the seas and lands falls as snow. Most of the snow melts in summer, but in Polar Regions and at high altitudes part of it remains throughout the year in glaciers and snowfields. If withdrawals by melting and evaporation exceed deposits as snowfall, the balance in the bank decreases and the glacier recedes, but if precipitation exceeds withdrawals, the glacier grows and spreads outward.

Mean annual temperature decreases at higher altitudes and at higher latitudes, hence the snowline is higher near the equator than in Polar Regions. The amount of snowfall also affects its position. Thus, the snowline stands over 5,000 feet higher (8,000 to 9,000 feet) on the dry eastern side of the St. Elias Mountains along the Alaska-Yukon border than on the wet western side (2,500 to 3,000 feet), and it is lower in well-watered Norway than on the colder but dry Taimyr peninsula. In much of Siberia, northern Alaska, and Canada, the mean annual temperature is low enough, but the precipitation is too scanty to support permanent snowfields and glaciers. In such areas, the pore moisture in the soil and rock is frozen to considerable depths, forming a great sheet of permanently frozen ground.


Gilluly, James (1958). Principles of Geology. San Francisco, California: W. H. Fremmil.