Elephant Foot Glacier

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The Elephant Foot Glacier in northeastern Greenland, looks like a bowl of batter that has been poured over a pan. The sheer pressure of the zillion-ton ice has broken through the mountain and spilled into the sea in a near symmetric, fan-shaped lobe. Such glaciers are known as piedmont glaciers, and the Elephant Foot Glacier is a perfect example of it. Its shape is so distinct that it stands out dramatically from its surroundings when viewed from high above.

Glaciers are one of the most extraordinary of the earth’s natural phenomena. These rivers of frozen snow accumulated over centuries of precipitation are so densely packed that it exceeds its overall ablation. They are in a constant state of flux, flowing down in the direction of the slope towards a valley or a water body. You can’t really tell if it’s moving but come back in a few decades and you will be able to see the dramatic change in the landscape.

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Photo credit: unknown

The Elephant Foot Glacier is located on the Kronprins Christian Land peninsula. It is not connected to Greenland’s main ice sheet. Rather, it’s part of a network of glaciers and ice caps that hangs around the periphery of the island. Research has shown that as a whole, these outlying glaciers and ice caps account for 5 to 7 percent of Greenland’s total ice coverage, but they are responsible for 20 percent of its contribution to sea level rise.

Another example of piedmont glaciers is the Malaspina Glacier in southeastern Alaska. 65-km long and 45-km wide, it is the largest piedmont glacier in the world. The glacier arises where several valley glaciers, primarily the Seward Glacier and Agassiz Glacier, spill out from the Saint Elias Mountains onto the coastal plain facing the Gulf of Alaska.

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Photo credit: Thobu/Panoramio

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Photo credit: eggertsae/Panoramio

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Photo credit: unknown

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Photo credit: phys.org

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Photo credit: lioninasidecar.wordpress.com

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Malaspina Glacier. Photo credit: Bob Mattson/Panoramio

Sources: NASA / Wikipedia

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1 comment:

  1. very beautiful, perfect place that must be maintained for the sake of the preservation of the earth

    ReplyDelete

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