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Web-based Practice

Glaciers by PhET

Course, Subject

Earth Science, Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Commencement, 9th Grade, 10th Grade


This simulation will allow students to adjust mountain snowfall and temperature to see the glacier grow and shrink. they will use scientific tools to measure thickness, velocity and glacial budget.

Using the simulation, students will:

  • Explain how environmental conditions (temperature and precipitation) impact glacial mass budget; identify where snow accumulates in a glacier and justify why.
  • Explain how ice moves within a glacier; describe and illustrate flow within a glacier.
  • Explain or illustrate (demonstrate) how glaciers
    • stay at equilibrium
    • grow/advance
    • shrink/retreat
    • form; compare climatic conditions leading to each.
  • Determine and illustrate how multiple advance-retreat cycles affect the record of glacial end moraines.


PhET Interactive Simulations


Click on the link below to view the simulation:


Click here to view the download requirements for this website.

Content Provider

Physics Education Technology
The Physics Education Technology (PhET) project at the University of Colorado produces fun, interactive simulations of physical phenomena that make bridges to the real world.

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