Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Glaciers

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Alaska is the home of the two largest glaciers in North America, the Bering Glacier and the Malaspina Glacier, both of which are larger in area than the entire state of Delaware. The Bering Glacier is the longest glacier in the state and is more than 100 miles long.


Source: Wikimedia Commons

All told, there are an estimated 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, and glaciers cover three percent of the state's landscape. About 3/4 of all the fresh water in Alaska is glacial ice.

A few facts about glaciers:
  1. Cracks on the surface of glaciers are called crevasses, and they can be more than 100 feet deep
  2. Icebergs are formed when ice breaks off from glaciers, in a process called calving
  3. Glaciers are constantly on the move, and they can sometimes surge to move as much as 300 feet at a time
  4. Glaciers often appear blue in color because the density of the ice absorbs all the colors in the spectrum except blue. Blue is reflected by the ice. 
You can get a good idea of the size of glaciers from this picture taken in Glacier Bay. It's difficult to even see the cruise ship!


Source: Wikimedia Commons

I hope to someday see these glaciers with my own eyes. Have you ever seen glaciers in Alaska or elsewhere?

 My A-Z theme of Alaska is inspired by my debut novel, Polar Night, which is set in the Alaskan Arctic. Click here for all the info on the book.

43 comments:

  1. I'd love to see the glaciers! Though I have a little fear of falling into one and getting trapped.

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  2. I haven't seen them in person, but I watched an AMAZING video of calving recently. Unbelievable to watch. Would love to see one in person, they look beautiful.

    Rinelle Grey

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  3. Thanks for the glacier info. We have a week scheduled this summer to visit Glacier National Park in Montana and Canada. So looking forward to it!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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  4. I wondered about the relationship between glaciers/icebergs
    They look stunning-- almost majestic!

    Writer In Transit

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  5. An Alaskan cruise is on my bucket list. I'd love to see the glaciers!

    Laura Eno – A Shift in Dimensions

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  6. Oh wow. I would have thought the largest would be in Antarctica.

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  7. Wow.... wish I could see the Glaciers. :)

    - A fellow blogger from A to Z!

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  8. @Christine, I would be afraid of that too. Especially since I am the biggest klutz on earth LOL.

    @Rinelle, oh, I bet that was interesting!

    @Mary, that sounds amazing, I hope you have fun!!

    @michelle, I agree.

    @Laura, me too.

    @Michael, no worries, it wouldn't have surprised me if I'd actually written it wrong anyway LOL.

    @Me, thanks for coming by, great to meet you.

    @Jennifer, I agree LOL.

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  9. One of my nieces lives in Alaska, so we go up a lot. Seeing those huge chunks of blue ice slip into the sea is an amazing experience.

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  10. Seeing a glacier is definitely on my bucket list.

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  11. Never seen one but I've heard the blue colour you mentioned is vibrant and stunning. It's surprising that they are always moving though we imagine them as static.

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  12. My husband and I went on a five-day Alaskan cruise years ago. One of the most memorable sights was the greater part of a day spent in Glacier Bay. It was so peaceful. I've never forgotten it.

    BTW, I came to your site from Julie Luek's blog.

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  13. Never seen one. Heck we hardly ever get snow here in South Africa.

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  14. A friend of mine went on a cruiser to Alaska and she saw glaciers. She took very neat pictures of them. I don't think I'll ever see them but in pictures. The only way you can get me on a cruiser is caged.

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  15. @Lee, oh I can imagine! I know I'd be visiting your niece a lot if I were you. :)

    @Misha, me too.

    @Daydreamer, I know, it's hard to even comprehend that.

    @Elizabeth, thanks for coming by, it's great to meet you! And I can imagine that was a great trip, my parents did something similar and had an incredible time.

    @Scots Lass, we don't get much to speak of either really LOL.

    @Al, oh, I'd hate for you to have to be caged. Dragons don't belong in cages. :D

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  16. No, I've never seen them in person. The photos are beautiful, though they make me consider becoming an armchair traveler. Brrr!

    Barbara
    Twitter: @BarbaraWDaille
    A to Z: Goals, Glinda, and the Great and Powerful Oz
    The Daille-y News

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  17. Glaciers are fascinating. I've never seen one either, except in movies and photos.

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  18. My husband has mountain climbed in AK and always tried to avoid the crevasses.

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  19. Beautiful even just to imagine. I would love to view them... from inside a warm vehicle of some sort. :)

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  20. Supposedly there are some glaciers up in the Cascades, but not in the sense Alaska and South America have them. At least, I don't think so. :)

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  21. Oh man once you see them in real life you never forget them. We hiked up a mountain ridge to one, and also took a glacier cruise. Hearing the crunch of ice breaking off, and seeing the gorgeous colors up close is just spectacular. So much in Alaska to be in awe of.

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  22. I've never seen a glacier. They look so beautiful and majestic . . . love the photographs!

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  23. Whoa, I had no idea they were so big! I haven't seen the glaciers yet, but someday I hope to take a cruise to Alaska. Thanks for sharing Julie :)

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  24. One day I would love to visit Alaska. Enjoying your theme very much!

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  25. How exquisitely beautiful this natural phenomena is to behold !

    I never have seen one in person, but hope to visit them and the fjords of Norway!

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  26. Just one more reason I'd like to see Alaska :)

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  27. To me, that is the most amazing sort of landscape - mostly 'cause we have nothing like it in my part of the world ;)

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  28. Breathtaking photos! Years ago my husband was on a trip through the Canadian Rockies with a buddy. There was no night life, and their only activity was staring at a glacier. He was so bored that he proposed when he got home. Had he seen the Alaskan glaciers, our lives may have turned out differently.

    Julie

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  29. Not one, but two, glaciers bigger than Delaware. Amazing. I really need to get up to Alaska some day.

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  30. Hi -- checking back from the A-Z Challenge. My blog header is a photo of a tidewater glacier in the Inside Passage, Alaska, where we went a year ago, you might want to check it out. My husband took a beautiful photo.

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  31. I walked on a glacier in New Zealand once. Mighty cold, but mighty awesome too.

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  32. @Barbara, LOL, I think I might be best as an armchair traveler too.

    @Carol, I agree.

    @Susan, oh geez, I can't even imagine mountain climbing. I end up in the crevasses for sure LOL.

    @Nancy, that sounds good to me! :D

    @Mary, I didn't even know they were in the Cascades. It must be so pretty there.

    @Pk, oh, I bet that was amazing!

    @Golden Eagle, me too, thanks!

    @Gwen, I'd love to take a cruise as well someday.

    @Kerri, thank you!

    @Michael, oh, I'd love to see the fjords too. So many amazing places to visit in the world.

    @Mark, agreed.

    @Trisha, yeah, it is unreal, I can't imagine it at all.

    @Sarah, I hope you get to go on one someday. :)

    @Julie, LOL LOL. Well I'm glad he didn't see these glaciers then.

    @Tim, me too, I hope so anyway.

    @loverofwords, oh, that's awesome, I will check it out.

    @Lynda, I bet, that must have been amazing.

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  33. These are beautiful photos. I've always wanted to take one of the coastal Alaskan cruises so maybe someday.

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  34. @Patricia, I'd love to do that as well. :)

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  35. They look so amazing. It would be really neat to see them up close and personal.

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  36. My parents were on a cruise ship much like that and have pictures from the cruise that sort-of blew my mind!

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  37. @Beverly, my parents went on a similar trip and I just loved their photos. Amazing landscape!

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Thank you for your comments!