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Alaska Trip: Ice

This is the sight we woke up to on our first morning on the boat, with the sun coming up over Dawes glacier. If you're going to get up at 7:00am, this is the way to do it.

A closer view of Dawes glacier.

An even closer view of the glacier, making the blue tint of the ice very visible.

There was tons of ice in the water this morning. One of the naturalists on the ship mentioned it may have been because of a couple small earthquakes the day before.

Another view of the ice in the river, with a little bit of ship's handrail for perspective. Notice the nice blue color of the larger pieces of ice.

Looking straight down into the ice. It made this amazing sound as the big and small chunks of ice sloshed together and rolled against each other.

A couple pretty big ice bergs.

The sunlight glinting off of the crystalline ice was beautiful.

Amazing contrasting textures between the patches of ice, water, and sun.

We took a helicopter up on top of LeCont glacier. This is a picture of the helicopter sitting on the glacier. Notice the two different ice flows coming together -- the farther more blue one, and the closer dirtier ice.

A view from the other direction on top of the glacier. The blue areas are melted water on top of the ice.

A close-up of the transition from ice crystals to melted water.

A deeper ravine, a couple hundred feet deep, filled with water. The dark blue color is just created by the super-compacted glacier ice under the water!

Right before I took this picture, a chunk had broken off of this ice-berg and the whole thing rotated around in the water. The blue ice you see here is the part that used to be in under water.

A piece of glacier ice picked out of the water. The ice is so compact that it has an incredibly pure crystalline appearance. This is also what causes larger pieces to have a blue color.

Glaciers at the top of John Hopkins Inlet, in Glacier Bay National Park. There are two glaciers here, joining together at the water.

Close-up of the glacier on the left. This really shows the glacier as a river of slowly flowing ice.

Close-up of the glacier on the right. You can see how the glacier has dug up silt as it moved across the rocks, layering the silt with its ice as the glacier flowed.

There were a number of "calving events" while we were at this glacier, where big pieces of ice would break off and fall into the water. Unfortunately I never really caught a picture of one as it was breaking off, but here is a piece right as it hits the water.

A little later, you can see the waves in the water from the ice.

You can't see it too well, but this piece of ice caused some pretty big waves that moved the boat around quite a bit when they reached us.

Dianne Kyra Hackborn <hackbod@angryredplanet.com>
Last modified: September, 2005

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