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Photographer Overlooking Columbia Glacier

Detailed Description

Photographer Tad Pfeffer capturing images of Columbia Glacier in Prince William Sound, Alaska. He is looking down-glacier towards the ice front, which faces open water in the fjord. This open water is extremely rare, and has not happened again since 2005. The fjord is typically covered with iceberg debris, called mélange. The cause of this occasional clearing of the mélange is not known. Columbia Glacier has been the focus of numerous studies due to its unusually high rate of retreat. The glacier has retreated nearly 20 km (12.43 mi) since 1980. In fact, it has receded so quickly that parts of it began floating in 2007, contrary to how most tidewater glaciers behave.


Public Domain.