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Glacial features and surficial deposits of the Malaspina district, Alaska

January 1, 1957

The Malaspina district extends about 50 miles along the north shore of the Gulf of Alaska from Icy Bay and the Guyot Glacier on the west to Yakutat Bay and Disenchantment Bay on the east (see index map). The district includes a coastal lowland flanked on the north by a belt of rugged foothills, the higher ridges and peaks of which rise to altitudes of 1,000 to 6,000 feet. The southern front of the St. Ell as Mountains rises abruptly at the northern margin of the foothills belt, about 30 miles from the coast, culminating in Mount St. Elias (18,008 ft.).

The Malaspina Glacier, the dominant feature of the Malaspina district, has long been regarded as the type example of the piedmont glacier. This huge ice sheet covers an area of about 840 square miles of the coastal lowland, rising gradually from an altitude of 100 feet or less at the outer margin to altitudes ranging from 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet at the southern margin of the foothills belt. The Malaspina Glacier is of special interest to glaciologists because its strikingly developed morainic banding offers clues to the nature of glacier movement. The processes of wastage and deposition at the stagnant margin of Malaspina Glacier can be compared with the mode of retreat of the former continental ice sheets; much can be learned here of the origin
of the deposits formed along a stagnant ice margin.

Publication Year 1957
Title Glacial features and surficial deposits of the Malaspina district, Alaska
DOI 10.3133/ofr5791
Authors George Plafker, Don John Miller
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 57-91
Index ID ofr5791
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse