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Alaskan glaciers advance one-third of a mile 
in less than a year

A long-term push or just a blip?

By Ned Rozell

 

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27 Jun 07 - (Excerpts) - Until this spring, pilot Paul Claus would land a Supercub on a gravel bar in Icy Bay to give people an up-close look at a calving glacier. This year he can't land there because a glacier has rumbled over the gravel bar. The main glaciers in Icy Bay crept forward up to one-third of a mile sometime between August 2006 and June 2007.

"At least three glaciers in the same bay have advanced in one year," said Chris Larsen, a scientist at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, studying the ever-changing landscape of the area. "To have them advance right now is kind of weird."

Icy Bay, located just west of Malaspina Glacier on Alaska's dynamic southern coast, is like a smaller version of Glacier Bay.

Terminus of Tsaa Glacier in Icy Bay in July 2005.
Photo by Chris Larsen, Geophysical Institute, UAF

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Terminus of Tsaa Glacier in June 2007. Note the position of the large waterfall. The glacier advanced about one-third of a mile sometime between August 2006 and June 2007.
Photo by Chris Larsen, Geophysical Institute, UAF


The scientists don't know whether the advance of the Icy Bay glaciers is the beginning of a long-term push, or a blip before the next retreat. For now, they've advised their colleagues flying over the glaciers to take lots of photos this summer to see if the glaciers continue to push deeper into Icy Bay.

            I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that 
            Juneau (and presumably, all of southeast Alaska), 
            had record snows last winter.

See entire article by Ned Rozell 
(originally entitled "Icy Bay glaciers get up and go")
http://www.sitnews.us/0607news/062707/062707_ak_science.html      

Different link to the Geophysical Institute
at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks:
http://www2.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF18/1861.html

More photos of the Tsaa Glacier:
http://gps.alaska.edu/chris/images/Tsaa_compare/index.html

Photos showing that Yahtse Glacier has also advanced:
http://gps.alaska.edu/chris/images/Icy_Bay/Icy_Bay.html

 


 

  
 

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