Ice Cap

An ice cap is an ice mass that covers less than 50 000 km² of land area (usually covering a highland area). Masses of ice covering more than 50 000 km² are termed an ice sheet.

Ice caps are not constrained by topographical features (i.e., they will lie over the top of mountains). By contrast, ice masses of similar size that are constrained by topographical features are known as ice fields. The dome of an ice cap is usually centred on the highest point of a massif. Ice flows away from this high point (the ice divide) towards the ice cap's periphery.

Ice caps have significant effects on the geomorphology of the area they occupy. Plastic moulding, gouging and other glacial erosional features become present upon the glacier's retreat. Many lakes, such as the Great Lakes in North America, as well as numerous valleys have been formed by glacial action over hundreds of thousands of years.

On Earth, there are about 30 million km³ of total ice mass. The average temperature of an ice mass ranges between -20°C and -30°C. The core of an ice cap exhibits a constant temperature that ranges between -15°C and -20°C.

A high-latitude region covered in ice, though strictly not an ice cap (since they exceed the maximum area specified in the definition above), are called polar ice caps; the usage of this designation is widespread in the mass media and arguably recognized by experts.

Vatnajökull is an example of an ice cap in Iceland.

Other articles related to "ice, ice cap":

Holocene Climatic Optimum - Comparison of Ice Cores
... A comparison of the delta profiles at Byrd Station, West Antarctica (2164 m ice core recovered, 1968) and Camp Century, Northwest Greenland, shows the post ... The Hans Tausen Iskappe (ice cap) in Peary Land (northern Greenland) was drilled in 1977 with a new deep drill to 325 m ... The ice core contained distinct melt layers all the way to bedrock indicating that Hans Tausen Iskappe contains no ice from the last glaciation i.e ...
Boulder Hills
... Polar Bear Revoir Singeyer Strand Fiord Sverdrup Van Hauen Yelverton Glaciers Agassiz Ice Cap Barnes Ice Cap Benedict Coronation Devon Ice Cap Disraeli Eugenie Gull Jimi Maasi ...
List Of Glaciers In Canada - List of Glaciers - Nunavut
... Agassiz Ice Cap - Ellesmere Island, Nunavut Barnes Ice Cap - Baffin Island, Nunavut Benedict Glacier - Ellesmere Island, Nunavut Chapman Glacier - Ellesmere Island, Nunavut Coronation ...
Severnaya Zemlya - Main Islands - Komsomolets
... Komsomolets Island is home to the largest ice cap in Russia, the Academy of Sciences Ice Cap ... Komsomolets island is largely covered by the Academy of Sciences Ice Cap – an 819 m (2,687 ft) thick ice dome reaching 749 m (2,457 ft) above sea level and covering 5,575 km2 (2,153 sq mi ...
Strand Fiord Pass
... Sverdrup Van Hauen Yelverton Glaciers Agassiz Ice Cap Barnes Ice Cap Benedict Coronation Devon Ice Cap Disraeli Eugenie Gull Jimi Maasi Kaparoqtalik Keyhole ...

Famous quotes containing the words cap and/or ice:

    In time your relatives will come to accept the idea that a career is as important to you as your family. Of course, in time the polar ice cap will melt.
    Barbara Dale (b. 1940)

    Not to like ice cream is to show oneself uninterested in food.
    Joseph Epstein (b. 1937)