Ice sheet

Alternative definitions (10), class: vernacular (0)
Term: Ice sheet
Definition: A mass of land ice of continental size that is sufficiently thick to cover most of the underlying bed, so that its shape is mainly determined by its dynamics (the flow of the ice as it deforms internally and/or slides at its base). An ice sheet flows outward from a high central ice plateau with a small average surface slope. The margins usually slope more steeply, and most ice is discharged through fast flowing ice streams or outlet glaciers, in some cases into the sea or into ice shelves floating on the sea. There are only two ice sheets in the modern world, one on Greenland and one on Antarctica. During glacial periods there were others.
Created 2022.03.08
Last Modified 2023.03.27
Contributed by GCW Glossary