20 Credits SPRING

Aims/Description: On this module students are introduced to how glaciers and ice sheets work and the connection of many glacial processes to hazards experienced by communities in polar and high altitude environments. We examine how glaciers and ice sheets come into existence through an understanding of climate and the concept of glacier mass balance. We then consider how glacier systems function, covering topics that include the processes of ice flow, the drainage of glacial melt, and the behaviour of ice streams and ice shelves. We then examine how glaciers modify landscape through processes of erosion and sediment transport and deposition. Hazards are explored in relation to each key area of glacier system function, from localised flood events associated with glacier-lake drainages to global sea level changes arising from past and potential future ice sheet instability.

Teaching Methods: Lectures, Laboratory work, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam, Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Geography):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK