Phenomena

Glaciers in Motion

To the naked eye, glaciers don’t appear to move much, but appearances can be deceiving. Like avalanches and turbidity currents, glaciers flow under the influence of gravity. They typically move at speeds around 1 meter per day, but some glaciers, like those shown above in Pakistan’s Central Karakorum National Park, can briefly surge to speeds a thousand times higher than their usual. The animation above shows 25 years worth of Landsat satellite imagery, enabling one to more easily observe the motion of these slow giants. Try picking out a feature along one of the glaciers and watch it move year-by-year. The glaciers just right of the image centerline are some of the best!  (Image credit: J. Allen; via NASA Earth Observatory; submitted by Vince D)

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