Ice sheets are so large that they radically alter the landscape of the continents they cover. The weight of the ice sheet depresses the land beneath it. Without its ice sheet, the continent of Antarctica would shrink by more than a quarter, as most of its western half sinks into the sea. A cutaway view on this map illustrates this.

Map by National Geographic Maps

Download this file

Our media can be used in a variety of contexts—from media spotlights to encyclopedic entries to lessons. From this page, check out the different ways you can use this .

Other Pages That Use This Item

ice sheet
ice sheet Encyclopedic Entry

Best For
6 - 12 and up

Geography, Science

Appropriate For

  • Educators
  • Families
  • Students

An ice sheet is a type of glacier that covers a very large area