Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Stikine Icefield

Part of our recent survey took us down to the Stikine Icefield, Alaska's southernmost icefield. Its southern location and relatively low elevation make it vulnerable to changing climate, but this can be offset by high rates of snowfall. The icefield has several glaciers that reach the ocean, among them LeConte Glacier, the southernmost tidewater glacier in the northern hemisphere. Many of the tidewater glaciers have retreated very rapidly in the past few years.

The icefield is spectacular with many impressive spires, most famously Devil's Thumb.

Sawyer Glacier calving into a very narrow fjord

The famous Devil's Thumb with Cat's Ears and Witches Tit to the right.

Devils Thumb through a gap

Witches Cauldron: This is a really weird place where glaciers flow in from several sides and just kind of disappear. It's where glaciers go to die...

Devil's Thumb with shadows of the Cat's Ears

Burkett's Needle

The picturesque fishing town of Petersburg

What are you looking at?

Dawes Glacier (I think). The trimlines show the extent of recent ice loss

A cruise ship in Tracy Arm

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