Margerie Glacier is 21 miles long, 250 feet high and extends 100 feet below sea level. This glacier advances approximately 30 feet per year. The ice in the front is about 75 to 200 years old. Margerie Glacier is one of eight tidewater glaciers in Glacier Bay, Alaska. A tidewater glacier is a valley glacier that flows all the way down to the ocean. Emmanuel de Margerie, a French geologist and geographer, visited the bay in 1913 naming the glacier Margerie. Small bits of ice tend to break off from the glacier known as calving. These glaciers can only be accessed by boat and plane. The image above was taken aboard a cruise ship and we were close enough to hear the thundering sound of ice breaking off from the glacier. The glacier begins on the south slope of Mount Root and flows into the Tarr Inlet. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a protected area of about 3.3 million acres which are a part of a 25-million-acre World Heritage Site. This bay did not exist in 1794 when Captain Vancouver passed by as it was still ice. At the time of the image, seals were present on the ice in the John Hopkins Inlet, which means vessel traffic is prohibited.
Even though eight glaciers are advancing, nearly 95% of all glaciers are receding.
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ⓒ 2017 Meteorologist Brandie Cantrell