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The patterns include glacier surging and spatial variations in flow related to climate.

Energy & environment

Notably, the data show that out of tens of thousands of glaciers in Alaska, only 12 are responsible for the majority of downstream ice flux. These glaciers are flowing exceptionally fast because they receive very high rates of snowfall and are not necessarily flowing fast because of tidewater retreat.

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The flow speed is not the same as the melt rate; melting is strong enough at low elevations that it is outpacing the high snowfall rates. Glacier surface-velocity map of the Wrangell and St. Elias Ranges. Light grey glacier outlines indicate missing data. Image credit: Evan Burgess, The speed data are available for download in formats designed both for scientists and educators.

How To Clock a Glacier

See the slide show to the right for examples from the Alaska Range and the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains. Detailed information on its production is available in Burgess, E. Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering. CCC 7. Stability and change. For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study.

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How To Clock a Glacier - Issue Slow - Nautilus

High Arctic Change Author s. Related Members.

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Peggy McNeal. Julie Brigham-Grette. Power point presentation that introduces Kronebreen Glacier. Earth System, Structure, and Processes.

Glacier Speed

Overview How glaciers in the polar regions respond to continued climate warming is of great concern. Students will develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system. Students will develop a model glacier to investigate glacier dynamics. Students will plan and conduct an investigation individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, and in the design: decide on types, how much, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements and consider limitations on the precision of the data.

Students will design ways to accurately measure the flow of their model glacier and compare it to designs used in the field.

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  5. Students will analyze data using mathematics in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims. Procedure Students review background information about glaciers with a power point and are introduced to Kronebreen glacier in Svalbard, Norway, as a basis for investigation.

    Students make and work with flubber on inclined PVC half pipes to get comfortable with the behavior of materials that exhibit viscous flow. Directions for making the flubber are on the student worksheet. Students experiment with making the model glaciers flow at different rates. In groups, students brainstorm ways to measure the differential velocity of the model glacier.

    Students work with a PhET simulation to explore how changes to climate affect glacier velocity, thickness and length. The PhET simulation can be found at here. Students view three YouTube videos of time-lapse photography of Kronebreen glacier.