This page archived in August 2008
This is another essential part of Geography and geomorphology. There are few sights more impressive than a glacier grinding its way down a trough smoothed and striated by earlier advances. I remember my first glacier back in 1984 in Norway: hitch-hiking up to the Folgefonn glacier above Torvikbygd with my old mate Conor Kostick and wandering around the pro-glacial zone with a boiled egg sandwich and a bad case of sunburn. The landscape, the Troll Wall, the Lofoten islands, they're all magical places. No Geography scheme of work is complete without a good chunk of ice somewhere. I am also a proud member of the 'Enjoyment of Glaciers' Group.
A new page of NORWAY links is also on the site. Norway is a country moulded by ice, especially the fjord lands, although the late Douglas Adams famously attributed them to the work of Slartibartfast.
Worth looking at the movie 'ICE AGE' too, plus 'The Day after Tomorrow' (now out on DVD and Video) - the former has a nice short film at the end which explains continental drift...
Another Larson cartoon: 2 scientists stare at a wooden privy with a caveman inside in embedded in a wall of ice. "This is it. Jenkins - indisputable proof that the Ice Age caught these people completely off guard."
Available from GA Shop.
Follow these links for much, much more:
New for December 2004
Click the banner above to go to the wonderful new COLDWEB: the COLD ENVIRONMENTS section of the British Geomorphological Research Group's website, produced by Dr. Edward Anderson. Has notes on all aspects. Recommended.
1a. Introduction to Glacial Systems
Make sure you are clear about the difference between Accumulation and Ablation and the effect this has on the health of the glacier.
1b. ICT Introduction to Glacial Systems
2. Definition of Glacial terms
3a. Periglacial Features: A - Details on periglacial processes and landforms (Updated Feb 2004)
3b. Periglacial Features: B - more of the above...
For an example of PERIGLACIAL landforms in the UK don't forget the best resource for this type of thing:
FETTES COLLEGE website of Dr. Adrian Hall et al - marvellous ice based resources and images
4. Ice Formation
Includes a look at formation of firn and neve: forms between snow and ice as density increases. This requires snow to last from one winter, through the intervening summer and on into the next winter. At present in the UK, there are no permanent snow patches, but it wouldn't take much of a drop in temperature for them to start to form in the Scottish Highlands.
5. Surface Processes
Classification of Periglacial processes and landforms
|Ground Ice||Ice Crystals and lenses (frost heave)||Sorted Stone Polygons
|Ground contraction||Ice Wedges
|Freezing of groundwater||Pingos (Open and Closed system)|
|Frost Weathering||Frost shattering||Blockfields
|Meltwater||Solifluction (Frost Creep and Gelifluction)||Solifluction lobes
6. Fluvioglacial Features
Now includes some useful illustrated examples.
7. Human use of Glaciated Areas
8. Human use of Periglacial areas e.g Arctic Canada
There are a lot of extra details on the effect on foundations at various Canadian Building sites (that's websites...) Try HERE for something on the effect of freezing on the foundation of buildings. There's also a similar article on the effect of FROST ACTION on buildings.
Go HERE for details on the pipeline at Valdez via the Anchorage Daily News.
There's a very useful page of images and other information on Canada and Nunavut's ICE ROADS here: http://www.thedieselgypsy.com/Ice%20Roads-3B-Denison.htm
9. Glaciation Refresher Glossary Test
10. Series of lessons and activities (not all working..)
11. There's a useful ARCHIVE OF ARTICLES from the Yukon here which has lots of relevant stuff on the problems of living in a taiga or tundra environment. Students need to know the effects of the environment on human use of the area.
There's the old story that the eskimos have 400 words for snow... this is also known as the Great Inuit vocabulary hoax, and some information on the story, and some good 'spoof' Inuit words for snow, such as 'Wa-ter', meaning 'melted snow' can be found HERE.
http://www.earthscape.org/t1/low01/low01.html - useful notes on a range of glacier topics...
12. Can't get to the LAKE DISTRICT ? There's full details of a FIELD TRIP including loads of digital camera images for you to see the features at this school site HERE. Well worth a browse. Some good images of glacial upland scenery.
13. Try this ONLINE QUIZ. Enter your answers then Submit for marking.
14. ISLE OF SKYE: Landscapes affecting Human activity
15. Glacial Movement
16. The difference between 'Warm' and 'Cold' glaciers
17. The English Lake District: an upland glaciated area - the Langdale Valley
16. Glacial landforms of North Wales. (External link)
17. Cairngorms: peri-glacial and glacial landforms case study area
18. Relict peri-glacial features in NORFOLK (coming soon)
I produced a booklet for students of the features that they can see on their doorsteps in Norfolk, and this will be scanned and added shortly..)
19. Peri-glacial Notes and Sites
20. HORIZON: The Big Chill
This programme, which was broadcast in October 2003, looked at the possibility of climate change in the UK taking the opposite of the anticipated Global Warming and instead plunging us into an ice age climate, as the melting Arctic ice changes the salinity of the oceans and stops the North Atlantic 'conveyor' from bringing warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the British Isles. The HORIZON site offers a transcript of the programme and some associated materials. Recommended.
21. TOUCHING THE VOID
Why not take a group to see 'Touching the Void'. Link here to the site of JOE SIMPSON.
There are some harrowing moments, plus some shots of the glacier below Siula Grande in Peru. There is a sense of the scale of glacier crevasses, the effect of snow cornices on the ridge and col, and the mass of debris in the moraines of the pro-glacial zone - some shots show Joe crawling alongside a lateral moraine, and the goal is the lip of the moraine dammed lake which is the classic 'surreal' blue colour of glacial meltwater... Now available on DVD and Video, and in the Geography department library.
22. CANADA'S ARCTIC
A great site with MAPS and CLIMATE information.
SLN GEOGRAPHY site of the month for April 2004
23. UPLAND SCENERY in SCOTLAND
Page not updated for a while... Sorry...
24. ICE AGE BRITAIN
One of the great features of the internet is the ability to 'listen again' to radio programmes that you missed (although some of the recent Brian Appleton links didn't seem to work....) There was a recent series on BBC Radio which you can listen to. I recommend that you do just that. Have it streaming to you as you work, or have a chicken sandwich... Something I like to do in the garden. The ICE AGE BRITAIN programme has useful information about the impact that ice had on the landscape.
25. MIGHTY BOOSH: Tundra Rap
Check it out on YOU TUBE
Iím little Johnny
Freeziní you up freezing you down
Like an icicle
Coming in your tent in the pink light scissor bite
They call me Tundra boy
Because I move like an Arctic - lizard
When the Blizzard strikes I disappear like a pipedream
All thatís left is the gleam - on a tent peg
and for some TUNDRA music for you...
Click the image to visit the website and buy 'Tunguska'...
26. Year 13 Exam Question for December 2006 (WORD DOCUMENT)
27. EXPLORING ANTARCTICA
28. LAURA's ATHABASCA POWERPOINT
Now have a new powerpoint which was sent to us in September 2007 by Laura.
Some excellent images also
Glacier ice begins with SNOW, and there are plenty of snow based websites which can provide both information and entertainment on the last few days of term.
One gateway to these sites is that of SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY. William Bentley lived in Vermont in the early 20th Century, and developed a mechanism for photographing snowflakes. He photographed over 5000 and none of them were the same. Hence the saying that they are all unique. It's certainly unlikely that the branching crystals could ever develop the same way twice. From here are plenty of sites relating to snow.
Bentley's images are in the public domain and are beautiful things to see.
Try also the excellent images at CREVASSE ZONE.
Recommended read: "The Little Ice Age" - Brian Fagan (Basic Books, 2000)
We have recently started using an excellent new textbook in the EPICS series, published by Nelson Thornes.
'Cold Environments' - by Garrett Nagle and Michael Witherick
Some useful website links, although not all of them seem to work - but that's an occupational hazard with the web. Some useful images and can act as a standby for lessons where some questions need to be set. I have used the book in this way, and some of the question sheets that I produced will appear soon in the lesson plan section.
Another icy book worth reading:
Visit NOGGIN THE NOG for more on Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin's masterpiece, and DRAGON'S FRIENDLY SOCIETY to purchase these books in hardback, and the video. This is a true classic....
Mr. P is also proud to be a member of the:
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