Icecaps, Glaciers and Icebergs

What are the differences among glaciers, ice caps and icebergs?

Ice is constantly on the move. The great weight of the accumulating ice and snow causes ice to spread slowly outwards toward the edges of the ice cap. Nearing the sea, the ice is gradually forced through gaps between the coastal mountains, scouring a pathway through in the form of glaciers. Once the glaciers reach the sea, they break off into tremendous icebergs that crash into the water and drift away. Thus the snow that falls on Greenland slowly but surely finds its way to the sea, where it eventually melts and returns to the never-ending water cycle--perhaps to fall once again as rain or snow on Greenland.


Glacier sketchbook
Look at the
Glacier Sketchbook.

Do you know how many different
types of glaciers there are?
The Discovery Channel ONLINE has information on the different types of icebergs and how they are formed.

Why is it dangerous to climb an ice cap?

Do a milk carton glacier activity.

Have microworlds?
Download the
Greenland game construction kit!

View an iceberg's surface in this video.

Back to the Greenland page

Greatest Places Online 1999 Science Museum of Minnesota