Alaska Satellite Facility - Distributed Active Archive Center

Glacier Power

Icebergs float from the calving Mendenhall glacier, which originates in Alaska's Coast Range. The glacier velocity dataset reveals that about 40 percent (approximately 20 cubic km) of ice lost annually in Alaska is due to calving alone, mostly from a few coastal glaciers. © UAF

Glacier Power started as a 1997 middle-school curriculum supplement produced by the Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) in collaboration with glaciologists, local scientists, teachers, students, and artists. Although parts of the supplement have become outdated, several components of Glacier Power are still user favorites and rank among ASF’s most-visited pages.

ASF has updated Glacier Power content in the form of Q&A pages and lesson plans for teachers. Many of the Q&A pages contain vocabulary lists, review questions, or exercises.

Glacier Power – Credits

Credits With special thanks to…Dr. Frank Carsey, 1995-1997 Chief Scientist of the Alaska SAR Facility, for direction and encouragement, andFairbanks North Star Borough School District, officials and teachers for cooperation, direction,

Glacier Power – How do Glaciers Form?

From Snowflakes to Rivers of Ice Glaciers are massive and incredibly powerful, but they begin with small snowflakes. Imagine how many snowflakes make a glacier as snow gradually changes into

Glacier Power – How do Glaciers Move?

Glaciers Are Solid Rivers A glacier is a large accumulation of many years of snow, transformed into ice. This solid crystalline material deforms (changes) and moves. Glaciers, also known as

Glacier Power – Teacher Answer Key Exercises Answers

Exercises – Teacher’s Guide Where Have Glaciers Been? Answers: Connect the Related Words U-Shaped ValleyglaciersiltfjordsV-Shaped ValleyriverGrand Canyon Glacier Anatomy Answers: Matching accumulation zone – Bablation zone – Dtributary – Amoraine

Glacier Power – Teacher Guide Glossary

Glacier Power Glossary Ablation, Ablation zone Processes (especially melting) by which a glacier loses ice and snow: melting, evaporation, calving, and erosion. The area of a glacier where ablation occurs.

Glacier Power – What are Crevasses?

Crevasses A crevasse is a crack in the surface of a glacier. Photo by Kristina Ahlnas. A scientist climbing into a crevasse. Photo by Kristina Ahlnas. A ladder inside a

Glacier Power – What is a Glacier?

A Glacier Begins with Small Snowflakes Glaciers are massive and incredibly powerful but they begin with small snowflakes.  Each lacy, delicate crystal flake is unlike any other; imagine how many

Glacier Power – What is Glacier Anatomy?

Anatomy of a Glacier The anatomy of a glacier as it slowly slides down the valley. Illustration by Donna Redhead. Anatomy of a Glacier Definitions Key terms are highlighted The accumulation (input) zone is