The glacier that sat on what is now the Iowa Great Lakes area was called the Des Moines Lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier, and it was huge!

(Read about the landform regions in Iowa)

It carved out the lakes, left behind kames and eskers and created fens and kettleholes. It's hard to imagine just how much ice there was to have created such huge landscape features. The glacial trail inside the Dickinson County Nature Center takes a look at just how deep a glacier is compared to some of the tallest buildings in the world. Let's check it out here!

(Fen, esker, kame --- what do those words mean?)

Photo of the glacial exhibit

An average glacier is 1-2 miles deep, so let's say average that out 1.5 miles, or 7,920 feet deep.

The tallest building in the world right now is Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and it is 2,722 feet tall --- one-third the height of a glacier.

Photo of Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa at Night By Hifsa10, via Wikimedia Commons

One World Trade Center in New York City stands even smaller, at 1,776 feet tall.

Photo of One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

You are probably also familiar with the famed skyscraper called the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in Chicago. It is only 1,729 feet tall.

Photo of the Sears Tower

Sears Tower by Naotake Murayama, via Wikimedia Commons

The Stratosphere in Las Vegas has made a name for itself with its death-defying rides atop it, but it's really not all that tall when you compare it to a glacier. The Stratosphere is on 1,149 feet tall.

Photo of the Stratosphere

The Eiffel Tower is another majestic landmark that is dwarfed in comparison to a glacier, because this famous Paris structure is only 1,063 feet tall.

Photo of the Eiffel Tower

The Gateway Arch is iconic in St. Louis, MO, but it is only 630 feet tall.

Photo of the Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch by Bev Sykes, via Wikimedia Commons

The Statue of Liberty seems awe-inspiring when tourists visit in New York City, but 25 of them would have to sit on top of each other to equal the depth of an average glacier.

Photo of the Statue of Liberty

7 Planet Earth Facts

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Fen, kame, esker — what do these glacial landmark words mean?

Walking along the glacial landmark tour inside the entrance of the Dickinson County Nature Center, visitors can to experience replicas of many of the places created by the Des Moines Lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier when it was in the county about 12,000 years ago. From bouncing on a fen to climbing a miniature kame…

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