Culture of South Dakota
The culture of the U. S. state of South Dakota exhibits influences from many different sources. American Indians, the cultures of the American West and Midwest, the customs and traditions of many of the state's various immigrant groups have all contributed to South Dakota art and literature. Much of South Dakota's culture reflects the state's American Indian, rural and European roots. A number of annual events celebrating the state's ethnic and historical heritage take place around the state, such as Days of'76 in Deadwood, Czech Days in Tabor, the annual St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo festivities in Sioux Falls, Riverboat Days in Yankton. Many pow wows are held yearly throughout the state, Custer State Park's Buffalo Roundup, in which volunteers on horseback gather the park's herd of around 1,500 bison, is a popular annual event. Annual arts and crafts festivals include the Brookings Summer Arts Festival and the Sidewalk Arts Festival in downtown Sioux Falls. In the annual Crazy Horse Volksmarch near Custer, nearly 15,000 hikers complete a 6.2 miles hike that nears the top of the Crazy Horse Memorial.
Many counties and towns in the state hold annual fairs. The Sioux Empire Fair, in Sioux Falls, is the largest fair in the state, with an annual attendance of over 250,000; the South Dakota State Fair is another large annual event. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an annual event in Sturgis. In 2006, the rally was attended by 450,000 people. Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose semi-autobiographical books center around her experiences as a child and young adult on the frontier, is one of South Dakota's best-known writers, she used her experiences growing up on a homestead near De Smet as the basis for four of her novels: By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, The First Four Years. Wilder's childhood home, built by her father, has been preserved and is open to the public in De Smet. Another author from the state who wrote about the area's early period of settlement was Ole Edvart Rølvaag. Rølvaag was a Norwegian immigrant who came to Elk Point to work as a farm hand in 1896 studying English at Augustana College.
Rølvaag wrote a number of novels, many of which centered on the struggles of immigrants in Dakota to make a living and preserve their heritage in a foreign country. Rølvaag's novels include Giants of the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie, Peder Victorious, Their Fathers' God. Novelist Frederick Manfred, who identified as "Siouxland" a region encompassing western Iowa, southern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, set a number of his novels in South Dakota, including The Golden Bowl and King of Spades. Black Elk, whose narration of the Indian Wars and Ghost Dance movement and thoughts on Native American religion forms the basis of the book Black Elk Speaks. Paul Goble, a native of England who has lived in Rapid City since 1977, is an author and illustrator of children's books, most of which involve American Indian topics, he has published 29 books, was awarded the Caldecott Medal for The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses and a Regina Medal for his body of work. The work of some of the newest painters and artists in South Dakota can be seen in the numerous petrogyphs in many areas of the state in the Black Hills.
Some of these paintings and carvings are between 5,000 years old. The petrogyphs may be classified as incised, or pecked. Most of the scenes either depict humans with animal subjects. Although most of the evidence of the culture and identity of these early artists has long since disappeared, the styles used in the petroglyphs bear numerous similarities with cultures as recent as contemporary Sioux artwork. Beginning in the 1830s several painters and illustrators began producing paintings and sketchs of the area and inhabitants around Fort Pierre. One of the first non-Indian artists in the area, George Catlin arrived in the area in 1832 and completed a number of sketches and portraits of local tribes, Indian dances, bison hunts during the 15 days he spent at Ft. Pierre. Several years Swiss artist Karl Bodmer traveled up the Missouri River and for a time lived among the tribes of central South Dakota. During this period, Bodmer completed a number of detailed landscapes and portraits of local Indians.
Harvey Dunn grew up on a homestead near Manchester in the late 19th century. After attending college at South Dakota State University, Dunn enjoyed a successful career as an illustrator for periodicals such as Harper's and The Saturday Evening Post. While most of his career was spent as an illustrator whose work recalled his rural upbringing, late in life Dunn completed a number of paintings depicting his memories of life in rural Dakota Territory. Dunn agreed to exhibit these painting depicting scenes of frontier life, at an exhibition in De Smet in 1950; the exhibition was a great success, with over 5,000 people attending it throughout the summer, Dunn agreed to donate the works to South Dakota State. They are displayed at the South Dakota Art Museum on the campus of SDSU in Brookings. Oscar Howe won fame for his watercolor paintings. Howe was one of the first Native American painters to produce works influenced by abstraction, as opposed to ones relying on more traditional styles. There are several accomplished artists from South Dakota.
Terry Redlin from Watertown, is a painter of rural and wildlife scenes. Many of Redlin's works are on display at the Redlin Art Center in Watertown. Dick Termes, who resi
History of South Dakota
The history of South Dakota describes the history of the U. S. state of South Dakota over the course of several millennia, from its first inhabitants to the recent issues facing the state. Human beings have lived in. Early hunters first entered North America at least 17,000 years ago via the Bering land bridge, which existed during the last ice age and connected Siberia with Alaska. Early settlers in what would become South Dakota were nomadic hunter-gatherers, using primitive Stone Age technology to hunt large prehistoric mammals in the area such as mammoths and camels; the Paleolithic culture of these people disappeared around 5000 BC, after the extinction of most of their prey species. Between AD 500 and 800, much of eastern South Dakota was inhabited by a people known as the'Mound Builders'; the Mound Builders were hunters who lived in temporary villages and were named for the low earthen burial mounds they constructed, many of which still exist. Their settlement seems to have been concentrated around the watershed of the Big Sioux River and Big Stone Lake, although other sites have been excavated throughout eastern South Dakota.
Either assimilation or warfare led to the demise of the Mound Builders by the year 800. Between 1250 and 1400 an agricultural people the ancestors of the modern Mandan of North Dakota, arrived from the east and settled in the central part of the state. In 1325, what has become known as the Crow Creek Massacre occurred near Chamberlain. An archeological excavation of the site has discovered 486 bodies buried in a mass grave within a type of fortification; the Arikara known as the Ree, began arriving from the south in the 16th century. They spoke a Caddoan language similar to that of the Pawnee, originated in what is now Kansas and Nebraska. Although they would at times travel to hunt or trade, the Arikara were far less nomadic than many of their neighbors, lived for the most part in permanent villages; these villages consisted of a stockade enclosing a number of circular earthen lodges built on bluffs looking over the rivers. Each village had a semi-autonomous political structure, with the Arikara's various subtribes being connected in a loose alliance.
In addition to hunting and growing crops such as corn, beans and other squash, the Arikara were skilled traders, would serve as intermediaries between tribes to the north and south. It was through their trading connections that Spanish horses first reached the region around 1760; the Arikara reached the height of their power in the 17th century, may have included as many as 32 villages. Due both to disease as well as pressure from other tribes, the number of Arikara villages would decline to only two by the late 18th century, the Arikara merged with the Mandan to the north; the sister tribe of the Arikaras, the Pawnee, may have had a small amount of land in the state. Both were Caddoan and were among the only known tribes in the continental U. S. to have committed human sacrifice, via a religious ritual. It is said that the U. S. government worked hard to halt this practice before their homelands came to be settled, for fear that the general public might react harshly or refuse to move there. The Lakota Oral histories tell of them pushing the Algonquian ancestors of the Cheyenne from the Black Hills regions, south of the Platte River, in the 18th century.
Before that, the Cheyenne say that they were, in fact, two tribes, which they call the Tsitsistas & Sutaio After their defeat, much of their territory was contained to southeast Wyoming & western Nebraska. While they had been able to hold off the Sioux for quite some time, they were damaged by a smallpox outbreak, they are responsible for introducing the horse to the Lakota. North of the Ioway were an Algonquian nation known as the A'ani, whose territory extended from southern Canada, through western Minnesota & eastern N. Dakota & may have extended as far south as northeast South Dakota. Many of the cultural traits among the Sioux that do not exist among other Siouan peoples—including hairdos—originated with the A'ani. One of the first to be driven off by the Sioux, they moved west & north, splitting into the tribes known as the Gros Ventre and the Arapaho, they are not to be confused with the Hidatsa, who were called Gros Ventre by the French. The Ioway, or Iowa people inhabited the region where the modern states of South Dakota, Minnesota & Iowa meet, north of the Missouri River.
They had a sister nation, known as the Otoe who lived south of them. They were Chiwere speaking, a old variation of Siouan language said to have originated amongst the ancestors of the Ho-Chunk of Wisconsin, they would have had a similar culture to that of the Dhegihan Sioux tribes of Nebraska & Kansas. By the 17th century, the Sioux, who would come to dominate much of the state, had settled in what is today central and northern Minnesota; the Sioux spoke a language of the Siouan language family, were divided into two culture groups – the Dakota & Nakota. By the early 18th century the Sioux would begin to move south and west into the plains; this migration was due to several factors, including greater food availability to the west, as well as the fact that the rival Ojibwe & other related Algonquians had obtained rifles from the French at a time when the Sioux were still using the bow and arrow. Other tribes were displaced during some sort of poorly understood conflict that occurred between Siouan & Algonquian peoples in the early 18th century.
In moving west into the prairies, the lifestyle of the Sioux would be altered, coming to
Index of South Dakota-related articles
The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the U. S. state of South Dakota..sd.us – Internet second-level domain for the state of South Dakota 40th state to join the United States of America Adjacent states: State of Iowa State of Minnesota State of Montana State of Nebraska State of North Dakota State of Wyoming Agriculture in South Dakota Airports in South Dakota Amusement parks in South Dakota Arboreta in South Dakota commons:Category:Arboreta in South Dakota Archaeology in South Dakota Category:Archaeological sites in South Dakota commons:Category:Archaeological sites in South Dakota Architecture in South Dakota Area codes in South Dakota Art museums and galleries in South Dakota commons:Category:Art museums and galleries in South Dakota Astronomical observatories in South Dakota commons:Category:Astronomical observatories in South Dakota Badlands National Park Black Hills Botanical gardens in South Dakota commons:Category:Botanical gardens in South Dakota Buildings and structures in South Dakota commons:Category:Buildings and structures in South Dakota Capital of the State of South Dakota Capitol of the State of South Dakota commons:Category:South Dakota State Capitol Casinos in South Dakota Caves of South Dakota commons:Category:Caves of South Dakota Census statistical areas of South Dakota Cities in South Dakota commons:Category:Cities in South Dakota Climate of South Dakota Colleges and universities in South Dakota commons:Category:Universities and colleges in South Dakota Communications in South Dakota commons:Category:Communications in South Dakota Companies in South Dakota Congressional districts of South Dakota Corn Palace Coteau des Prairies Counties of the State of South Dakota commons:Category:Counties in South Dakota Culture of South Dakota commons:Category:South Dakota culture Demographics of South Dakota Category:Demographics of South Dakota Economy of South Dakota Category:Economy of South Dakota commons:Category:Economy of South Dakota Education in South Dakota Category:Education in South Dakota commons:Category:Education in South Dakota Elections in the State of South Dakota commons:Category:South Dakota elections Environment of South Dakota commons:Category:Environment of South Dakota Festivals in South Dakota commons:Category:Festivals in South Dakota Flag of the State of South Dakota Forts in South Dakota Category:Forts in South Dakota commons:Category:Forts in South Dakota Geography of South Dakota Category:Geography of South Dakota commons:Category:Geography of South Dakota Geology of South Dakota commons:Category:Geology of South Dakota Ghost towns in South Dakota Category:Ghost towns in South Dakota commons:Category:Ghost towns in South Dakota Government of the State of South Dakota website Category:Government of South Dakota commons:Category:Government of South Dakota Governor of the State of South Dakota List of Governors of South Dakota Great Seal of the State of South Dakota Heritage railroads in South Dakota commons:Category:Heritage railroads in South Dakota High schools of South Dakota Higher education in South Dakota Highway routes in South Dakota Hiking trails in South Dakota commons:Category:Hiking trails in South Dakota History of South Dakota Historical outline of South Dakota Hospitals in South Dakota Hot springs of South Dakota commons:Category:Hot springs of South Dakota House of Representatives of the State of South Dakota Images of South Dakota commons:Category:South Dakota James River Jewel Cave Lakes in South Dakota Category:Lakes of South Dakota commons:Category:Lakes of South Dakota Landmarks in South Dakota commons:Category:Landmarks in South Dakota Lieutenant Governor of the State of South Dakota Lists related to the State of South Dakota: List of airports in South Dakota List of census statistical areas in South Dakota List of cities in South Dakota List of colleges and universities in South Dakota List of counties in South Dakota List of forts in South Dakota List of ghost towns in South Dakota List of Governors of South Dakota List of high schools in South Dakota List of highway routes in South Dakota List of hospitals in South Dakota List of individuals executed in South Dakota List of lakes in South Dakota List of law enforcement agencies in South Dakota List of Lieutenant Governors of South Dakota List of locations in South Dakota by per capita income List of museums in South Dakota List of National Historic Landmarks in South Dakota List of newspapers in South Dakota List of people from South Dakota List of radio stations in South Dakota List of railroads in South Dakota List of Registered Historic Places in South Dakota List of rivers of South Dakota List of school districts in South Dakota List of state parks in South Dakota List of state prisons in South Dakota List of symbols of the State of South Dakota List of telephone area codes in South Dakota List of television stations in South Dakota List of United States congressional delegations from South Dakota List of United States congressional districts in South Dakota List of United States Representatives from South Dakota List of United States Senators from South Dakota Louisiana Purchase Maps of South Dakota commons:Category:Maps of South Dakota Missouri River Monuments and memorials in South Dakota commons:Category:Monuments and memorials in South Dakota Mount Rushmore National Memorial Mountains of South Dakota commons:Category:Mountains of South Dakota Mountain ranges of South Dakota Museums in South Dakota Category:Museums in South Dakota commons:Category:Museums in South Dakota Music of South Dakota commons:Category:Music of South Dakota Category:Musical groups from South Dakota Category:Musicians from South Dakota National Forests of South Dakota commons:Category:National Forests of South Dakota Natural history of South Dakota commons:Category:Natural history of South Dakota News media in South Dakota Newspapers
The Cretaceous is a geologic period and system that spans 79 million years from the end of the Jurassic Period 145 million years ago to the beginning of the Paleogene Period 66 mya. It is the last period of the Mesozoic Era, the longest period of the Phanerozoic Eon; the Cretaceous Period is abbreviated K, for its German translation Kreide. The Cretaceous was a period with a warm climate, resulting in high eustatic sea levels that created numerous shallow inland seas; these oceans and seas were populated with now-extinct marine reptiles and rudists, while dinosaurs continued to dominate on land. During this time, new groups of mammals and birds, as well as flowering plants, appeared; the Cretaceous ended with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, a large mass extinction in which many groups, including non-avian dinosaurs and large marine reptiles died out. The end of the Cretaceous is defined by the abrupt Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, a geologic signature associated with the mass extinction which lies between the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras.
The Cretaceous as a separate period was first defined by Belgian geologist Jean d'Omalius d'Halloy in 1822, using strata in the Paris Basin and named for the extensive beds of chalk, found in the upper Cretaceous of Western Europe. The name Cretaceous was derived from Latin creta; the Cretaceous is divided into Early and Late Cretaceous epochs, or Lower and Upper Cretaceous series. In older literature the Cretaceous is sometimes divided into three series: Neocomian and Senonian. A subdivision in eleven stages, all originating from European stratigraphy, is now used worldwide. In many parts of the world, alternative local subdivisions are still in use; as with other older geologic periods, the rock beds of the Cretaceous are well identified but the exact age of the system's base is uncertain by a few million years. No great extinction or burst of diversity separates the Cretaceous from the Jurassic. However, the top of the system is defined, being placed at an iridium-rich layer found worldwide, believed to be associated with the Chicxulub impact crater, with its boundaries circumscribing parts of the Yucatán Peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico.
This layer has been dated at 66.043 Ma. A 140 Ma age for the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary instead of the accepted 145 Ma was proposed in 2014 based on a stratigraphic study of Vaca Muerta Formation in Neuquén Basin, Argentina. Víctor Ramos, one of the authors of the study proposing the 140 Ma boundary age sees the study as a "first step" toward formally changing the age in the International Union of Geological Sciences. From youngest to oldest, the subdivisions of the Cretaceous period are: Late Cretaceous Maastrichtian – Campanian – Santonian – Coniacian – Turonian – Cenomanian – Early Cretaceous Albian – Aptian – Barremian – Hauterivian – Valanginian – Berriasian – The high sea level and warm climate of the Cretaceous meant large areas of the continents were covered by warm, shallow seas, providing habitat for many marine organisms; the Cretaceous was named for the extensive chalk deposits of this age in Europe, but in many parts of the world, the deposits from the Cretaceous are of marine limestone, a rock type, formed under warm, shallow marine circumstances.
Due to the high sea level, there was extensive space for such sedimentation. Because of the young age and great thickness of the system, Cretaceous rocks are evident in many areas worldwide. Chalk is a rock type characteristic for the Cretaceous, it consists of coccoliths, microscopically small calcite skeletons of coccolithophores, a type of algae that prospered in the Cretaceous seas. In northwestern Europe, chalk deposits from the Upper Cretaceous are characteristic for the Chalk Group, which forms the white cliffs of Dover on the south coast of England and similar cliffs on the French Normandian coast; the group is found in England, northern France, the low countries, northern Germany, Denmark and in the subsurface of the southern part of the North Sea. Chalk is not consolidated and the Chalk Group still consists of loose sediments in many places; the group has other limestones and arenites. Among the fossils it contains are sea urchins, belemnites and sea reptiles such as Mosasaurus. In southern Europe, the Cretaceous is a marine system consisting of competent limestone beds or incompetent marls.
Because the Alpine mountain chains did not yet exist in the Cretaceous, these deposits formed on the southern edge of the European continental shelf, at the margin of the Tethys Ocean. Stagnation of deep sea currents in middle Cretaceous times caused anoxic conditions in the sea water leaving the deposited organic matter undecomposed. Half the worlds petroleum reserves were laid down at this time in the anoxic conditions of what would become the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico. In many places around the world, dark anoxic shales were formed during this interval; these shales are an important source rock for oil and gas, for example in the subsurface of the North Sea. During th
Cottonwood River (Minnesota)
The Cottonwood River is a tributary of the Minnesota River, 152 miles long, in southwestern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 1,313 square miles in an agricultural region; the river's name is a translation of the Sioux name for the river, for the cottonwood tree, common along prairie rivers. It has been known as the Big Cottonwood River; the Cottonwood River flows eastwardly throughout its course. It rises southwest of Balaton in Rock Lake Township in southern Lyon County, as an intermittent stream on the Coteau des Prairies, a morainic plateau dividing the Mississippi and Missouri River watersheds; the river flows off the Coteau in a wooded valley in southeastern Lyon County, dropping 200 feet in five miles, enters a region of till plains, flowing through southern Redwood County, the northeastern corner of Cottonwood County, northern Brown County, past the communities of Sanborn and Springfield.
It enters a wooded valley near its mouth, flowing through Flandrau State Park and entering the Minnesota River just southeast of New Ulm. The river was dammed to form a lake in the state park, but the dam was not rebuilt after being washed out by floods in 1965 and 1969. Due to the northeastward slope of the Coteau des Prairies and the presence of a terminal moraine along the northern side of the river few tributaries enter the Cottonwood River from the north; the largest is Sleepy Eye Creek, 51 miles long, which flows eastwardly through Redwood and Brown Counties, past Cobden. Tributaries from the south include Plum Creek, 35 miles long, which flows northeastwardly through Murray and Redwood Counties, past Walnut Grove. 84% of land in the Cottonwood River watershed is used for agriculture. Wetlands in the watershed have been extensively drained, fewer than 4,000 acres remain. At the United States Geological Survey's stream gauge near New Ulm, 3.2 miles upstream from the river's mouth, the annual mean flow of the river between 1909 and 2005 was 381 cubic feet per second.
The highest recorded flow during the period was 28,700 ft³/s on April 10, 1969. The lowest recorded flow was 0.5 ft³/s on November 27, 1952. List of rivers in Minnesota Little Cottonwood River
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
A glacier is a persistent body of dense ice, moving under its own weight. Glaciers deform and flow due to stresses induced by their weight, creating crevasses and other distinguishing features, they abrade rock and debris from their substrate to create landforms such as cirques and moraines. Glaciers form only on land and are distinct from the much thinner sea ice and lake ice that form on the surface of bodies of water. On Earth, 99% of glacial ice is contained within vast ice sheets in the polar regions, but glaciers may be found in mountain ranges on every continent including Oceania's high-latitude oceanic island countries such as New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Between 35°N and 35°S, glaciers occur only in the Himalayas, Rocky Mountains, a few high mountains in East Africa, New Guinea and on Zard Kuh in Iran. Glaciers cover about 10 percent of Earth's land surface. Continental glaciers cover nearly 13 million km2 or about 98 percent of Antarctica's 13.2 million km2, with an average thickness of 2,100 m.
Greenland and Patagonia have huge expanses of continental glaciers. Glacial ice is the largest reservoir of fresh water on Earth. Many glaciers from temperate and seasonal polar climates store water as ice during the colder seasons and release it in the form of meltwater as warmer summer temperatures cause the glacier to melt, creating a water source, important for plants and human uses when other sources may be scant. Within high-altitude and Antarctic environments, the seasonal temperature difference is not sufficient to release meltwater. Since glacial mass is affected by long-term climatic changes, e.g. precipitation, mean temperature, cloud cover, glacial mass changes are considered among the most sensitive indicators of climate change and are a major source of variations in sea level. A large piece of compressed ice, or a glacier, appears blue, as large quantities of water appear blue; this is. The other reason for the blue color of glaciers is the lack of air bubbles. Air bubbles, which give a white color to ice, are squeezed out by pressure increasing the density of the created ice.
The word glacier is a loanword from French and goes back, via Franco-Provençal, to the Vulgar Latin glaciārium, derived from the Late Latin glacia, Latin glaciēs, meaning "ice". The processes and features caused by or related to glaciers are referred to as glacial; the process of glacier establishment and flow is called glaciation. The corresponding area of study is called glaciology. Glaciers are important components of the global cryosphere. Glaciers are categorized by their morphology, thermal characteristics, behavior. Cirque glaciers form on the slopes of mountains. A glacier that fills a valley is called a valley glacier, or alternatively an alpine glacier or mountain glacier. A large body of glacial ice astride a mountain, mountain range, or volcano is termed an ice cap or ice field. Ice caps have an area less than 50,000 km2 by definition. Glacial bodies larger than 50,000 km2 are called continental glaciers. Several kilometers deep, they obscure the underlying topography. Only nunataks protrude from their surfaces.
The only extant ice sheets are the two that cover most of Greenland. They contain vast quantities of fresh water, enough that if both melted, global sea levels would rise by over 70 m. Portions of an ice sheet or cap that extend into water are called ice shelves. Narrow, fast-moving sections of an ice sheet are called ice streams. In Antarctica, many ice streams drain into large ice shelves; some drain directly into the sea with an ice tongue, like Mertz Glacier. Tidewater glaciers are glaciers that terminate in the sea, including most glaciers flowing from Greenland, Antarctica and Ellesmere Islands in Canada, Southeast Alaska, the Northern and Southern Patagonian Ice Fields; as the ice reaches the sea, pieces break off, or calve. Most tidewater glaciers calve above sea level, which results in a tremendous impact as the iceberg strikes the water. Tidewater glaciers undergo centuries-long cycles of advance and retreat that are much less affected by the climate change than those of other glaciers.
Thermally, a temperate glacier is at melting point throughout the year, from its surface to its base. The ice of a polar glacier is always below the freezing point from the surface to its base, although the surface snowpack may experience seasonal melting. A sub-polar glacier includes both temperate and polar ice, depending on depth beneath the surface and position along the length of the glacier. In a similar way, the thermal regime of a glacier is described by its basal temperature. A cold-based glacier is below freezing at the ice-ground interface, is thus frozen to the underlying substrate. A warm-based glacier is above or at freezing at the interface, is able to slide at this contact; this contrast is thought to a large extent to govern the ability of a glacier to erode its bed, as sliding ice promotes plucking at rock from the surface below. Glaciers which are cold-based and warm-based are known as polythermal. Glaciers form where the accumulation of ice exceeds ablation. A glacier originates from a landform called'cirque' – a armchair-shaped geological feature (such as a depressio