A glacier is a slowly moving mass of ice formed from compacted snow in an area where snow accumulation exceeds melting and sublimation, such as mountain peaks and near the poles. As follows is a list of impressive glaciers from around the world:
Aletsch Glacier (Switzerland)
The Aletsch Glacier flows down the valley from its beginning high in a pass between two massive mountains, the Jungfrau and Mönch. Located in south-central Switzerland, it measures some 14 miles (23 kilometers) in length and covers about 46 square miles (120 square kilometers), making it both the longest and the largest glacier in the Alps. Though every year, this glacier is slightly smaller than the year before, it is still the largest in the Alps. At one time difficult to reach, the Aletsch region now attracts many visitors, who can take the train up the side of the Jungfrau to the highest point in Europe. Also, several cable cars run up from the Rhone Valley to vantage points above the glacier itself.
Franz Josef Glacier (New Zealand)
Beyond the narrow strip of coastal lowland along the western shores of New Zealand’s South Island, a towering wall of eternally snowcapped mountains, including Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, rears against the sky. Westland Tai Poutini National Park was established to preserve a portion of this magnificent alpine scenery. A superb blend of mountains, forests, lakes, rivers and sparkling waterfalls, the park is also noted for its twin glaciers, the Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier. Though the Fox Glacier is slightly longer, the Franz Josef is more dramatic in its steep descent. And of all New Zealand’s glaciers, it has been the most thoroughly studied because of the pulsing rhythms of its periodic advances and retreats.