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picture09march08-062

What happens when glaciers move across land?Glaciers gather up rocks as they move down the mountain. The rocks act as sharp, rough, cutting tools that are held tightly in the glacier ice. These “rock tools” rip out more rocks and soil and they are added to the moving glacier. Glaciers of the Great Ice Age deeply eroded the land wherever they traveled. Glaciers today continue to form sharp peaks and jagged ridges. They are a powerful force.

Scientists used to wonder about piles of unsorted rocks and soils that appeared far from where they belonged. They also found humongous single rocks. Long ago people thought floods had moved the soil and rocks. A Swiss scientist, Louis Agassiz, determined that they were moved by glaciers. Glaciers cut valleys into the land and leave sharp mountain peaks. They also leave smooth, rolling hills. You can tell if glaciers have been there if you see deep scratches on rocks, large boulders standing alone, and round ponds left behind where the soil was dug away.

picture09march08-061