Aialik Glacier

The boat trip we took from Seward was ultimately headed towards Aialik Glacier. This is a tidewater glacier. It terminates into the waters of Aialik Bay, and the tour boat could get fairly close to it.

Aialik Glacier


Contrast that with Bear Glacier which had receded from the shoreline and there is now a lake and a thin strip of land between the glacier and Resurrection Bay. This is a distant photo of Bear Glacier as we cruised by. You can see its racing stripes (the dark line up the middle...called medial moraines). This occurs when two glaciers merge and their lateral moraines have gone from being on the outside of each individual glacier, to instead being on the inside of the combined glacier. If you look closely at the photo, you can see that there are two racing stripes at the very bottom of the glacier, and only one further up. The second racing stripe comes from a third glacier merging into the larger glacier (coming in from the left near the bottom).

Bear Glacier


When we got to Aialik Glacier, the captain cut the engines off and we just floated. Similar to when we stopped to watch the Orca, the silence was punctuated by the occasional sounds of Mother Nature. This time, instead of the sounds of whales breaching, the sounds were the very loud pops and groans of the glacier as it inched its way towards the sea. Every now and then you would see bits of the glacier crumble away into the water. Usually it was small debris that chattered as it rolled down the face, but every now and then it was a larger piece that calved off with a dramatic roar.

Calving Glacier
Calving Glacier

Calving Glacier
Calving Glacier

Calving Glacier

1 comment:

HANNIBAL said...

Very cool captures!