Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Malaspina Glacier – The Largest Piedmont Glacier In the World


At the top of Alaska’s panhandle, among a mountain world full of superlatives, one feature tops it all: The mighty Malaspina Glacier, spilling from a funnel of rock in the St. Elias Mountains and spreading out to form a huge pancake between the mountains and the sea. This massive glacier is Alaska’s largest and also the largest “piedmont” glacier in the world. Piedmont glaciers occur where steep valley glaciers exit a mountain range onto flat plains or lowlands. They are no longer confined, and the ice spreads out in wide bulb-like lobes. It is about 40 miles wide and 28 miles long, with an area of some 1,500 square miles. Also visible in this aerial view taken from around 32,000 feet are, from left to right Mount St. Elias, elevation 18,008 feet, Mount Logan, Canada’s highest peak at 19,551 feet, and Mount Vancouver, elevation 15,787 feet.


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