Welcome to VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes!

Our virtual field trips allow you to explore the fascinating and often spectacular world of glaciers and glaciated landscapes. Look all around and zoom-in on features of interest – rather like Google Streetview © – and see how the landscape changes from one location to the next.

Sure, there is no substitute for real fieldwork, but this is not always possible. Through its virtual fieldwork, VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes supports class- and lab-based teaching. It can also be used by anyone wishing to explore these environments for themselves.

This site complements rather than replaces existing resources. So if you want to learn all about glacial processes, landforms and landscapes, start by having a look at some of the excellent websites, textbooks and journal articles out there (see Resources section for some recommendations).

Thank-you for visiting, and I hope you find the resources on this website useful. This is a work in progress, and feedback and suggestions for improvements are welcome.

Des McDougall
Worcester, UK.

Latest Posts

Apologies for outage

VR Glaciers is being moved to a new server, although the URL will remain the same. Unfortunately, a DNS issue during the lead-up to the changeover resulted in problems accessing the site off-campus on Wednesday 20 March. This has now been resolved (as of 09:00 GMT, Thursday 21st). The new server will be brought online

Read More »

Welcome to the new site

It’s taken a while, but the refreshed VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes site is ready! What’s new? Additional virtual field trips in California (Tuolumne Meadows and Big Pine) and Switzerland (Roseg Valley and Grande Dixence Dam). New links to the USGS National Map (for the California virtual field trips) and to the updated Swiss Glacier

Read More »

Why Virtual Fieldwork?

There is no substitue for real fieldwork, so what is the point of virtual fieldwork?

Use in the classroom

How can these resources be used to support teaching?
Moiry Valley, Switzerland: Virtual Field Trip
• alpine landscapes • glacier retreat • Little Ice Age • moraines • paraglacial reworking • talus • debris cones • icefall • supraglacial sediment and ablation • supraglacial meltwater • striae • ice-moulded bedrock • HEP scheme •

Arolla Valley, Switzerland: Virtual Field Trip

• alpine landscapes • glacier retreat • paraglacial reworking • Little Ice Age • moraines • supraglacial environment and processes • glacial erosion • weathering and mass wasting • human impacts •

Ferpècle Valley, Switzerland: Virtual Field Trip

• alpine landscapes • proglacial environment (rivers, sediment, lake) • human impacts • Little Ice Age • moraines • proglacial meltwater channel • paraglacial reworking • glacier terminus •

Lötschental Valley, Switzerland: Virtual Field Trip

• alpine landscapes • meadows • glaciers • moraines • Little Ice Age • debris cones • snow avalanche tracks and deposits • river • rock slope deformation • cirques • glacial troughs • forests • Little Ice Age •
Roseg Valley, Switzerland: Virtual Field Trip
• alpine landscapes • braided river • moraines • debris cones • alluvial fans • glacier • talus • avalanche tracks • slope failure • Little Ice Age •
Grande Dixence, Switzerland: Virtual Field Trip
• HEP • dam • alpine landscapes •
This tour only has 6 stops. It will be developed further when time and finances allow.

Lyell Canyon (Yosemite NP, California): Virtual Field Trip

• forests • floodplain meadows • river • glacially-transported boulders • glacial trough • talus • snow avalanche tracks • bedrock (granite) • bedrock joints • unloading and exfoliation • ice-moulded bedrock • Matthes glaciation / Little Ice Age • moraines • cirques • glacier • striae • chattermarks •
Tuolumne Meadows (Yosemite NP, California): Virtual Field Trip
• granite landscapes • roche moutonnée • meadows • meandering river • bars • islands • bank erosion • point bars • scroll bars • cutoff meanders •
Big Pine (Owens Valley, California): Virtual Field Trip
• semi-arid / arid climate • till • moraines • talus • talus cones • snow avalanche (evidence for) • ice-moulded bedrock • rock glacier •

Helvellyn Range (English Lake District): Virtual Field Trip

• cirques • glacial trough • rock slope failures • moraines • gullies • Younger Dryas • talus • blockfields • debris cones • human impacts •

Mosedale, Wasdale Head (English Lake District): Virtual Field Trip

• rivers • talus • debris flow tracks • debris cones • moraines • Younger Dryas • glacial troughs •

Keskadale, Newlands Valley (English Lake District): Virtual Field Trip

• moraine • headwall • Younger Dryas • solifluction

Additional Resources

Links to other resources that will help you learn about glaciers and glaciated landscapes.


Frequently Asked Questions...


Details on funding and other help.
Dr Des McDougall

Dr Des McDougall

I'm a Physical Geographer at the University of Worcester (England, UK). Interests include mountain glaciers, mountain geomorphology and Quaternary environmental change. I'm also interested in the use of virtual reality in teaching.

Can you help?

In order to support the ongoing development of this site, it would be really helpful if you could let me know why and how you use the resource. I’d also appreciate hearing any ideas you may have for improvements. Thank you!


This website allows you to explore glaciers and glaciated landscapes using virtual field trips. High quality, 360 degree interactive panoramas (panospheres) allow you to look all around and zoom in on features of interest – a bit like Google Streetview ©.

© VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes by Derek McDougall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International License.

Last updated: March 2019