How Fast Do Glaciers Flow?
ES1507  Survey Flags

This photograph shows how survey flags are used to measure the flow rate of the Mathes Glacier in Alaska. The glacier is moving from left to right in this photograph. Eleven survey flags were pounded into the surface of the glacier along a straight line perpendicular to the glacier's flow. Only six flags are visible in the image; the rest are too far away to see. Using the change in position of the flags over time, scientists can calculate the speed of the glacier.

Foundation for Glacier and Environmental Research, Juneau Icefield Research Program
Survey Flags Across Mathes Glacier, Alaska

2. Predict which stakes you would expect to move the farthest in one week. Explain your answer.


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