Glacial ice is constantly flowing but at speed…

Glacial ice is constantly flowing but at speeds we don’t notice by eye. That doesn’t mean there aren’t signs, though! Crevasses, narrow fractures in the ice that may be tens of meters deep, are a sign of those flows. Crevasses form in areas where the ice is under high stress. That could be a spot where the ice is flowing down a steeper incline or a place where multiple ice flows merge. Researchers can even use ice-penetrating radar to locate buried crevasses deep inside the ice. These are remnants of past flow conditions and provide hints at how the ice flows have changed over time. Crevasses are also a path for meltwater to penetrate deep into the ice, which can change slip conditions at the base of the glacier and increase both flow and melt rates. (Image credit: NASA/Digital Mapping Survey; via NASA Earth Observatory)