Glacial Geomorphology and GIS resources

There are several resources available for teaching about glacial geomorphology using a GIS.

Younger Dryas Glacial Map

The Younger Dryas Glacial Map was created by Bethan Davies and Hannah Bickerdike. There are a host of supporting resources and activities on the Younger Dryas pages of this website.

The Younger Dryas Glacial Map is a fully open access, interactive ArcGIS Online map with mapped glacial geomorphology dating from the Younger Dryas stadial (12,900-11,700 years ago). This abrupt, intense period of cold brought about a glacial readvance in Britain, with ice caps and ice fields forming in the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons.

Glacial geomorphology in Scotland dating from the Younger Dryas. Credit: Bickerdike et al., 2018

The Younger Dryas Glacial Map includes glacial geomorphology and glacier limits. Students can investigate how the glaciers are reconstructed (using moraines, trimlines and drift limts), and use the satellite imagery to view the landforms for themselves.

The Younger Dryas Glacial Map


BRITICE is a brand new (published late 2017) database of all the glacial landforms in Britain. It includes all you need to know about the last glaciation of Britain. There’s an accompanying paper that explains the landforms, maps you can buy or download and print yourself, and best of all, a huge GIS database that you can download and explore for free.  If you don’t use a GIS, you can use the free ArcGIS Online app to explore the landforms near where you live.

BRITICE V2 (Clark et al., 2017)


Resources on the glacial geomorphology of Patagonia, including a freely available map on ArcGIS Online, are available on this very website.

The GIS data are freely available from ArcGIS Online, and you can use the resources available on this website to learn in more detail about the differnet landforms.

PATICE: A new reconstruction of the last Patagonian Ice Sheet.

You can explore the geomorphological and chronological data for the reconstruction of the Patagonian Ice Sheet in the ArcGIS online map.

PATICE interactive map on ArcGIS Online.

Journal of Maps

There are a number of papers on Journal of Maps which are of excellent use in teaching glaciology.

Hughes et al. 2010a provide an excellent map of subglacial bedforms of the last British Ice Sheet (included in the BRITICE V2 database) and a downloadable database of all the published ages constraining the deglaciation of Britain (Hughes et al 2010b).

The Glacial Map of Southern South America (Glasser and Jansson, 2008) is freely accessible and shows all the glacial features in southern South America.

DATED-1 Database

This open-access publication, again led by Anna Hughes (Hughes et al. 2016), provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive reconstruction yet of the last British and European ice sheets. The authors also provide GIS shapefiles of the reconstruction for you to peruse.

DATED Database, by Hughes et al. 2016
DATED-1 Database (Hughes et al. 2016). Click to view animation.

Digital Elevation Models

Get the students doing interactive practicals using the glaciers downloaded from the RGI overlain on a Landsat image or an ASTER GDEM.

This is a free, global DEM that gives high-quality digital elevation data.

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) also provides free global digital elevation data.