layer cake

When the glacier’s face calves, we get a new look at the inside.  To give you an idea of scale here, the cliff face is several hundred feet tall.  Twenty-foot ice javelins?  Yes please!  (I was almost a quarter mile away when I took this photograph, and you’d be an idiot to get much closer.)  See all those horizontal stripes?  Each layer took about 150 years to form.

2 thoughts on “layer cake

  1. My favorite glacier fact is that when the thickness exceeds ~50m, the lower layers (perfectly blue because the air has been expelled) lose their molecular stability and can deform plastically as if they were a liquid. Crazy.

    When I was in SE Alaska we would go up Tracy Arm to a face of Sawyer glacier to watch some calving and grab ice chunks for the drinks locker. I once found a pure blue softball sized piece with a relativity large (~6cm) segmented worm entombed within.

    This was before I was a scientist and I always regret not keeping that thing. Would have been cool to 18s sequence it or something.

    Hope you are all staying warm and having fun. I’ll stick to the temperate latitudes thanks.

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