Glaciers form wherever conditions are such that annual precipitation of snow, sleet, and hail is greater than the amount that can be lost through evaporation or otherwise. The occurrence of a glacier thus depends on the latitude and also on local topography: there are several glaciers on the equator.
Glaciers account for about 75% of the world's fresh water, and of this the Antarctic ice sheet accounts for about 85%.
Mountain glaciers usually result from snow accumulated in cirques coalescing to form glaciers; and piedmont glaciers occur when such a glacier spreads out of its valley into a contiguous lowland area.
Features associated with glaciers and glaciated landforms
For more information on glaciers and the features associated with them, see:
Related categories GEOGRAPHY
• GEOLOGY AND PLANETARY SCIENCE
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