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Malaspina Glacier

Listed under Frozen Landscapes in Alaska, United States.

Photo of Malaspina Glacier
Photo by flickr user mhowry
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The Malaspina Glacier is the world’s largest piedmont glacier, occurring when valley glaciers spill out onto the lower plains and split into ridged segments.

The churning rocks below the massive ice surface are eroded into elongated deposits which fan out in shapes mimicking the glaciers own ridges. As it spreads the Malaspina Glacier covers an area of almost four thousand square kms and is estimated to be up to 600 metres thick in some places.

The Malaspina Glacier has been dramatically effected by climate change loosing 20 metres of thickness in the past 50 years, which has contributed dramatically to rising sea levels. While the gravel deposits currently act as walls preventing the glacier from reaching the ocean, if water levels were to rise sufficiently to breach these walls the glaciers retreat will gain momentum.

While an incredible place to visit, the Malaspina Glacier can only really be seen in its entirety from space.

Written by  Pavel Rejstra.

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