Hydrosphere
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The Physical Properties of Water

The Hydrologic Cycle

The Oceans

The Cryosphere

Underground Water

Surface Water

 

 

 

 

Physical Geography

The Physical Properties of Water

 

 

 

 

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Physical Geography

The Hydrologic Cycle

 

 

The Water Cycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Physical Geography

The Oceans

 

WHAT CAUSES THE SEA LEVEL TO CHANGE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Thor's Well, Oregon: a salt water fountain

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There Are Holes on the Ocean Floor. Scientists Don’t Know Why.

 

 

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Physical Geography

The Cryosphere

Elephant Foot Glacier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant Foot Glacier, a piedmont-type glacier that fans out across a plain in northeast Greenland

The mountains on either side are thousands of feet high, which gives some idea of the gargantuan scale.Geographical pattern of ice mass change over Greenland

We're seeing first-hand the effects of the warmer climate on the ice. Melting from stand-alone glaciers in Greenland accounts for a whopping 10% of the total sea level rise worldwide from melting ice, which is more than expected, a new study finds. Beside Greenland’s large ice sheet, there are thousands of peripheral glaciers which are not connected to the ice sheet or can be separated from it due to the existence of ice divides. The area of those glaciers is about 50 times higher than the ice cover of the European Alps.

These peripheral glaciers are isolated from the main ice sheet, flowing independently to the sea, and make up just 5-7% of Greenland's total ice coverage. But they are rapidly losing ice, making up 20% of the island's total contribution to sea level rise. Because the glaciers cover a smaller area than the ice sheets, they are losing ice about 2.5 times faster than the giant ice sheet. About 12 miles3 (50 gigatons) of water poured into the ocean from the isolated glaciers each year between 2003 and 2008.

Measurements show the rate of melting is accelerating by 9 billion tons each year and that doesn't include measurements from 2012, when a record-breaking amount of ice melted in Greenland.  If the melting continues at this rate, it would take 13,000 years to melt all of Greenland's ice. But long before that, the current rate of melting would cause a significant increase in global sea levels. Greenland's melting ice accounts for about 20% of the world's sea level rise, which in total is currently 0.1 inches (3.1 millimeters) per year. If Greenland keeps melting at current rates, it alone would lead to a 2.4-inch (6-centimeter) rise in global sea levels over the course of a century.

The melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets presents a large uncertainty for the future. Mass that starts out locked up as ice in the high latitudes spreads around the planet once it has melted and flowed into the ocean. This re-arrangement of mass can tweak the tilt of the Earth's axis. In turn, a slight change in the tilt of Earth’s axis redistributes the oceans because the forces of the Earth's rotation help shape the surface of the ocean.

Climate change is expected to change ocean currents and the winds that help drive ocean currents. These changes will affect the distribution of heat within the oceans, and, as a result, further affect changes in sea level.

Images of Melt: Earth's Vanishing Ice

Arctic sea ice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Glaciers That Look Like Art

Painted Glaciers

Greenland's glaciers through an artist's eyes - in pictures (There are also some excellent links at the end of the article.)

 

Glacier National Park, Montana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Landsat image shows how glaciers scoured the landscape, gouging out depressions that formed linear lakes. The glaciers also exposed the complex folded rock layers that form the Labrador Trough of Quebec in Canada. Glacial action is evident in the fingerprint-like patterns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Physical Geography

Underground Water

 

 

 

 

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Physical Geography

Surface Water

 

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Huacachina Oasis, Peru    Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

 

The Beni River in Bolivia resembles a blue ribbon as it meanders toward the Amazon River. Scattered along the river are numerous oxbow lakes, which are curved bodies of water that form when a meander from the main stem of a river is cut off, creating a freestanding body of water. Dark green colors in the image indicate forest and lighter green shades indicate grassland or sparse forest.

 

 

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eutrophication Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   08/01/2022   0001

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