Antarctic Mysteries

Interactive Crevasse Tracking

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Crevassed Area

This 18 km x 18 km region is only a small portion of the roughly 60 km x 400 km long Bindschadler Ice Stream in West Antarctica. Crevasses are mostly snow covered, but the caps of snow covering the voids beneath sag under their own weight allowing them to be seen in satellite images. Stresses within the ice vary as the ice flows, creating complex crevasse patterns. Unique patterns can be used to track the motion of the ice stream.

Dates: January 2, 1985 - December 12, 1991
Movement Direction: Upper Right to Lower Left


To use the applet:
1. Click the "Distance over Time" icon, so that it turns red.
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2. Find a distinct location on the image above, and click it with the mouse cursor to leave

a yellow crosshair as a marker. Need help choosing a point?
3. Click the "Next" icon.
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4. Find the same distinct location on the new map, and click it with your mouse cursor.
This will calculate the average distance over time (meters over years).
5. You may use the "Erase" icon to start over.
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This page utilizes a Reusable Content Object from the Satellite Observations in Science Education project.