Glaciers are Cool!

Summary for Dec. 4 session

Since the start of the Earth and Space section of Future Science Leaders, we have learned about many topics, including earthquakes, waves, hydroelectricity, and hydrogeology. At the fourth session of Earth and Space, we were introduced to the field of glaciology with Dr. Flowers.

During the first half of the session, the students split into groups to different stations around the room. At each station, there was equipment laid out and ready to go for us to tackle an experiment assigned to each station. The goal was to investigate some of the aspects that would affect the speed of glacier flow, as well as how the ice would respond. One of the variables that was tested was the surface that the glacier was flowing on, one being duct tape and oil, and the other being sand paper. From our observations, we found that the glacier on the lubricated surface was thinner and flowing at a faster speed, and had a narrower toe. The top and middle of both glaciers flowed faster, which we concluded was due to friction on the bottom and sides of the glacier. After the experiments, we discussed and shared our results as a group, with the guidance of Dr. Flowers.

For the later half of the session, Dr. Flowers explained to the students about the factors of glaciers that could be affected with different aspects, more in depth through diagrams and videos. There was one particular video that I found was very interesting, which showed the movement and fluctuations of the glacier over a long period of time. It was interesting to see the difference between how the glacier looked like throughout the four seasons.

This session introduced me to the magnificent topic of glaciology, which I had almost no knowledge about before, but has sparked my interest to find out more about glaciers and its behavior.


3 responses to “Glaciers are Cool!

  1. Before this session, I didn’t glaciers could move in so many different ways! They definitely have more than meets the eye.

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