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Read more about it in this C3W article and on Glaciers Online (and here). Glaciers may be tinted red or green by algae, and spotting a green iceberg is a great pasttime on research ships in the polar regions.In contrast, rocks may fall on the surface of a glacier, making it appear black, or dark brown.It will melt through the ice cube and refreeze above it.When a glacier encounters an obstacle (such as a boulder), the boulder inhibits the glacier’s flow by internal ice deformation.In fact, the weight of the ice above causes pressure melting (ice takes up more volume than water, so it melts under pressure).
If accumulation = ablation, then the glacier’s mass balance is in equilibrium.
However, ice shelves are important because they hold back the glaciers on land.
When they abruptly collapse, as several have done around the Antarctic Peninsula, the glaciers flow faster and transmit more ice to the sea, resulting in sea level rise.
In this page, I have tried to explain and put right some common misconceptions about glaciers often held by students.
Glaciers may appear lifeless, but in fact they are a rich biological hotspot.