How Fast Do Glaciers Flow?
ES1507  Lambert Glacier

Scientists can also use satellite technology to measure the flow of glaciers. This image shows Lambert Glacier in Antarctica. The glacier flows downhill from left to right across this image, to where it reaches the sea on the right edge. Color codes indicate the flow rates measured along the surface of the glacier.

  !   Examine the image and color code to see how the flow rate changes over the length of the glacier. Click inside the box on the image to see an animation of the flow in that area.

JPL/NASA
Lambert Glacier, Antarctica

7. What are the highest flow rates observed on the Lambert Glacier? Which part of it is moving the fastest?

8. Earlier, you calculated a flow rate for the Mathes Glacier. The data collection site was near the beginning of the glacier, on one of its tributary branches. Check the flow rate of the Lambert Glacier in a similar location, near one of its tributary glaciers. How do flow rates of the two glaciers compare?

9. Explain why measuring flow rate at just one point along a glacier is not a good indicator of its overall flow rate.


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