Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Flight to Juneau

I flew to Juneau for some field work on Taku Glacier last week. We experienced one of these days were all of Alaska had beautiful weather. On such a day, this must be one of the most amazing commercial jet flights there are. From Fairbanks to Anchorage we got a very close look of Denali, but the windows were too dirty for good pictures. Below are a few that I took on the way to Juneau from Anchorage.

College Fjord with Harvard and Yale Glacier, one is advancing, the other one retreating

Meares Glacier in Prince William Sound

Columbia Glacier: 20 years ago all of the water in this picture would have still been ice covered. Just a few years ago it separated into the two different branches.

A look over the upper Columbia Glacier into the Tazlina Glacier and into interior Alaska.

The Wrangell volcanoes (Drum, Sanford, Mt. Wrangell) in the background. These are the most inland volcanoes in Alaska. Mt. Wrangell (the big shield volcano on the right) is still thermally active with occasional steam plumes.

A look into the Copper River that cuts right through the Chugach Mountains. The Childs and Miles Glacier come into the river valley from either side. One can recognize the Million Dollar Bridge that was built as part of the railroad from Cordova to McCarthy to extract copper. It was abandoned in the late 1930s.

Parts of the Bering Glacier and the Bagley Ice Valley, the largest continuous ice mass in Alaska. In the background are the Wrangell volcanoes.

Icy Bay with Yahtse Glacier on the right

Tyndall Glacier descends from the 5400 m high Mt. St.Elias to sea level, probably one of the largest drops in elevation anywhere on the planet. In the background is Canada's highest mountain; the massive Mt. Logan.

A look from the large Malaspina Glacier through the 'Seward Throat' into the Bagley Ice Valley

Hubbard Glacier, one of the few advancing glaciers on Earth

Another look into the Hubbard Glacier. On the right is Russell Fiord, which might become a lake if the glacier keeps advancing.

Yakutat Glacier. We had a project there during the past few years and the glacier has lost more than 10 km2 of ice and separated into two branches in the past few years. The glacier front is difficult to recognize here, because of the frozen lake.

Alsek Lake and Alsek Glacier

Alsek Lake

And finally: landing in Juneau with Mendenhall Glacier.
What a flight!

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