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A glacier is a large flowing ice mass. Some glaciers move at a snail’s pace, just a few inches a day, while others advance more than a hundred feet a day. Glaciers are formed as large amounts of snow accumulate over many years and individual snow flakes at the bottom of the snow pile are compacted into grain-like pellets called firn. As the weight builds up, the firn are compacted even further into blue glacial ice. The glacial ice eventually becomes so thick and so heavy that it moves under the pressure of its own weight.
“Antarctica is the coldest, highest, driest, windiest place on Earth! Are you wearing enough warm clothes to be here? We hope so, because here we go!” In addition to the clearly written glacier pages (which you’ll find under Ice), there are sections on Antarctica’s Weather and Oceans. Teachers interested in getting out of the classroom, are invited to join the 2002/2003 Teachers Experiencing the Antarctica (TEA) program. If that sounds a bit too adventurous, try the Glacier classroom curriculum.
Glaciers and the Glacial Age
“Glaciers are large masses of snow, crystallized ice and rock debris that accumulate in great quantities and begin to flow outwards and downwards under the pressure of their own weight. Glaciers form when yearly snowfall in a region far exceeds the amount of snow and ice that melts in a given summer.” This University of Vermont site briefly explains the physical effects of glaciers, with particular emphasis on how Vermont was shaped by the ice ages.
The Glacier Story
“What makes a glacier? Where are glaciers found? How does the climate affect glaciers? If you want to know the answers to these questions and more, the Glacier Story will take you on a quick tour complete with glacier photos from our historic glacier photo collection.” When you finish the nine page story, follow the link to All About Glaciers for more in depth coverage that includes a glossary, a photo gallery, quick facts and current glacier news.
A Multimedia History of Glacier Bay
“Stunning pictures and dramatic QuickTime movies await you. Read what a NASA glaciologist has learned about glaciers and how their formation could be related to climate change. Learn about how glaciologists and visualization specialists at NASA worked together to produce fantastic special effects that help scientists explain their research.” To begin the multimedia tour, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Continue Tour.
Pretty Glacier Pictures
“Ever see an ugly glacier?” asks Pretty Glacier Pictures. Actually real glaciers are not always the clear crystal blue of our imagination.. Upon viewing the magnificent Margerie glacier on my recent trip to Alaska, one of our fellow travelers asked “Couldn’t they have cleaned it up a bit?” Real glaciers are striated with finely ground rock and sediment that they pick up as they flow over the earth. Glacial dirt aside, this page is a collection of eight (clean) glacier photographs. For more photos, continue on to the Glacier Image Database.