Cover image for Living ice : understanding glaciers and glaciation
Living ice : understanding glaciers and glaciation
Sharp, Robert P. (Robert Phillip)
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Physical Description:
x, 225 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GB2403.2 .S5 1988 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Glaciers, so simple in chemical composition, are actually complex, vital entities. Far from being a passive chunk of ice, a glacier is a dynamic system, sensitive to its surroundings and constantly changing to adapt to its environment. An appreciation of the natural beauty of glaciers are created, how they behave, how they affect the environment and how they are eventually destroyed. Few people are untouched by glaciers. A significant part of the world's population inhabits areas formerly covered by glacial ice, which left its marks on the land. Today, glaciers are only found in select parts of the world, but by their influence on global sea level and climatic change, they could have a dramatic effect on modern humanity. Living Ice: Understanding Glaciers and Glaciation aims to increase our knowledge and understanding of glacial activity and products. It is written in a nontechnical and engaging style. The text is peppered with anecdotes and insights from one of the world's experts on glaciers and it is also liberally and thoughtfully illustrated by numerous stunning black and white and colour illustrations. It is suitable for anyone with a passing knowledge of earth science and an interest in the world of living ice.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A beautifully written and finely illustrated book about glaciers, glacial erosion, and deposition. Sharp, who is the best possible authority and writer, states that his aim is an informal, conservational approach to excite general reader interest in natural phenomena. But it is much more than this: it is an extremely well written monograph of literary merit that should be required reading for all levels of natural science students and professionals alike. The treatment is traditional and the nine chapters deal with topics ranging from the crystallography of snow and ice, to glacier movement, erosive capacity, transport and deposition, to considerations of past ice ages and their causes. The conclusion examines the present state of the glacial environment and the future. There is a useful supplementary reading list and a very valuable glossary. The book also contains one of the best collections of photographs and line drawings of glacial phenomena available: it has been reproduced, apparently, without regard for expense. A remarkable summary of a large section of this distinguished professor's long career. -J. D. Ives, University of Colorado

Table of Contents

1 Glaciers and how they are made
2 Types, features and characteristics of glaciers
3 Glacier movement
4 Unusual glacier behaviour
5 Glacial erosion
6 Products of glacial erosion
7 Glacial transport and deposition
8 Products of glacial deposition
9 The past and the future
Supplementary reading