Glacial geomorphology, fluvial geomorphology, hillslope geomorphology, submarine geomorphology, tectonic geomorphology...

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Occasional geomorphic educational toy#1: PhET interactive glacier

The PhET Glacier Simulation

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An interactive glacier simulation tool as part of a series of online, research-based science simulations from PhET at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The glacier model allows you to investigate the effect of changing climate on glacier dynamics, and "Adjust mountain snowfall and temperature to see the glacier grow and shrink. Use scientific tools to measure thickness, velocity and glacial budget", it even makes terminal moraines when it retreats - hours of fun! The "scientific tools" may look a bit basic, but actually they make the sim more useful for understanding glacier processes, and this is meant to be high school level stuff (although preliminary research indicates that it keeps doctoral-level researchers happily occupied for quite some time...).
Also recommended, their 'John Travoltage' sim (if only he danced) for learning about static electricity at an undergraduate level, and a huge array of more useful physical concepts, all as Java downloads.