The Glacier on Mount Kilimanjaro

The Glacier on Mount Kilimanjaro

When you look at Kilimanjaro Glacier at first, it would look like nothing more than a big smooth pile of slightly boring ice, on the second sight, they are eye catching and very attractive. So far there is much more to Kilimanjaro glaciers than just seeing it, for these basilicas of shiny blue-white ice, are dynamic geneses of climatic history and where they could also be provided that with an omen for an imminent natural disaster.

You would have thought that with the strongly equatorial sun, glaciers wouldn’t occur at all on Kilimanjaro. In fact, it is the extremely bright white color of the ice that allows it to sustain as it reflects maximum heat. The dull black lava rock, on which the glacier rests, on the other hand, does absorb the heat; so while the glacier’s surface is genuine by the sun’s rays, the heat generated by the sun-baked rocks beneath leads to glacial melting.

In result, the glaciers on Kilimanjaro are inherently unstable: the ice at the bottom of the glacier poignant the rocks melts, the glaciers lose their ‘grip’ on the mountain and ‘overhangs’ occur where the snow at the base has melted away, leaving just the snow at the top to survive. As the process continues the snow fractures and breaks away, exposing more of the rock to the sun and so the procedure begins again. The sun’s outcome on the glaciers is also responsible for the spectacular structures the snow pillars and columns, barbicans and cathedrals that are the most fascinating part of the upper slopes of Kibo.

The reason why Kilimanjaro’s glaciers have not melted away?

One would have assumed that, after 11,700 years of the melting process, (according to contemporary research, the current glaciers began to form in 9700BC) very slight snow would remain on Kilimanjaro. As the substance of fact that there are motionless glaciers due to the prolonged ‘cold snaps’, or snow ages, that has happened down the centuries, allowing the glaciers to reform and reappear on the mountain.

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