Thursday, June 19, 2014

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska: Margerie Glacier

If you've ever seen pictures or videos of Glacier Bay National Park, this probably is the image that comes back to mind. It's a glacier extending from the mountains right up to the sea. Sometimes kayakers are pictures going up nice and close to the ice.

I had no idea until I got there that only this one portion of the park looks like this. The other glaciers aren't quite as spectacular as the Margerie Glacier. But this one is worth an extra look or two, or seven.

Summer is the best time to see the ice, and not just because the weather is more permitting. You can see the cracks in the ice in the picture. Every so often, a chunk falls off the glacier and into the sea, thanks to the warmer weather. The process is called calving, and it sounds a lot like thunder.

Here's what it looks like through a camera that was in the right place at the right time:

The glacier is 21 miles long. It is 350 feet tall, with the bottom 100 feet under water. The size has remained relatively stable recently.

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