My friend standing under a stagnating glacier at Wolf Point, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Southeast Alaska, USA.
My friend and I came across this “stagnating” glacier in Glacier Bay and because it was stagnating there were ice caves that had opened up beneath it. A stagnating glacier is a glacier that is neither advancing nor retreating, but melting in situ, in totality. It was amazing being able to walk beneath a glacier although somewhat precarions because stones were being dropped from the ice as it melted. The colour of the ice with the light shining through it from above was extraordinary; it was definitely one of the most “other-wordly” places that I have ever been to. If you looked closely into the ice you could see and hear all of the tiny capillaries of melt water that were gradually draining the life from the glacier. I wondered how long it had been “alive” for?Geologists believe that Glacier Bay existed during a minimum of four glacial periods ending with the Little Ice Age, which has a 4,000 years old record, as the latest period. All glaciers in the park today are said to be remnants of this glacial period.
- Duncan Murrell
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