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Posts tagged Glaciers

Climate Change and Glaciers of Olympic Mountains, USA – April 1st, 2013

47.9N 124W

April 1st, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Mountains

USA and Canada – March 30th, 2013

Snow rests atop mountain ranges in Washington State, USA (below), and British Columbia (upper left) and Alberta (upper right), Canada. Visible as a circular area of snow near the coast are the Olympic Mountains, a mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula of western Washington.

The mountains, part of the Pacific Coast Ranges, are not especially high – Mount Olympus is the highest at 7,962 ft (2,427 m); however, the eastern slopes rise out of Puget Sound and the western slopes are separated from the Pacific Ocean by the 20 to 35 km (12 to 22 mi) wide Pacific Ocean coastal plain. There are glaciers within the range; however, they have shrunk rapidly in just decades, stark evidence of the ongoing impact of human-driven climate change.

Glaciers and Mountains of Iceland’s Highlands

64.8N 20.1W

June 14th, 2012 Category: Mountains

Iceland - June 9th, 2012

Iceland is located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Though Iceland is nearer to Greenland (North America) than Europe, the island is generally included in Europe for historical, political, cultural, and practical reasons. Geologically the island is part of both continental plates.

Iceland is the world’s 18th largest island. The main island is 101,826 km2 (39,315 sq mi), but the entire country is 103,000 km2 (39,768.5 sq mi) in size, of which 62.7% is tundra. Lakes and glaciers cover 14.3%; only 23% is vegetated. Many fjords punctuate its 4,970-km-long coastline, which is also where most settlements are situated. The island’s interior, the Highlands of Iceland, is a cold and uninhabitable combination of sand and mountains. Here, mountain tops and glaciers appear bright white, while the sandier portions of the highlands, as well as many coastal areas, appear brown.

Santa Cruz Province, Argentine Patagonia – November 14th, 2009

47.7S 65.8W

November 14th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Argentina - September 30th, 2009

Argentina - September 30th, 2009

Santa Cruz is a province of Argentina, located in the southern part of the country, in Patagonia. It borders Chubut province to the north, and Chile to the west and south. To the east is the Atlantic Ocean. It is the second largest province of the country, but the least densely populated of the Argentine mainland.

The average temperatures are 13°C in summer, and 3° in winter, when temperatures can fall to -25°. Strong winds blow all year round.

To the west, the Andes at these latitudes are lower than in the centre and north of Argentina, but still have year-round snow. An immense ice sheet feeds numerous glaciers. Even though precipitation in this western ice-sheet area is common, rain is scarce in other areas, with an average of 200 mm per year.

The lakes in western Santa Cruz province are mostly fed by glacieal melt-water; however, due to the cold climate their shores are not used for agriculture. The largest include Buenos Aires Lake (2,240 km², of which 881 km² is in Argentina), Cardiel Lake (460 km²), Viedma Lake (1082 km²), Argentino Lake (1560 km²), Pueyrredón Lake, Belgrano Lake and San Martín Lake (1.013 km²) are all in the west of the province.

The Atlantic coastline is a mixture of beaches and cliffs. From the centre to the Atlantic coast in the east, plateaux of descending height dominate the landscape. The cold, arid steppe is crossed by rivers that produce fertile valleys; Deseado River, Santa Cruz River, Gallegos River, Coyle River, Chico River and Pinturas River.

Here, the Deseado River can be seen crossing the upper half of the image horizontally and spilling greenish sediments into the Atlantic Ocean. Its source is the glacier-thaw of Buenos Aires Lake, visible as a large, dark blue body of water due west of the river along the mountainous border with Chile.

Further down the shoreline, the Santa Cruz and Chico Rivers create a large delta from which more sediments flow into the ocean. The source of the Santa Cruz Rivers begins at the shore of the Viedma and Argentino Lakes (both visible although partially covered by clouds west of the delta.

Hofsjökull Glacier, Iceland

64.8N 18.7W

September 18th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Iceland - August 13th, 2009

Iceland - August 13th, 2009

Hofsjökull, identifiable as the large dark area in the center of this  orthorectified image, is the third largest glacier in Iceland and the largest active volcano in the country.

It is situated at the west of the Highlands of Iceland and north of the mountain range Kerlingarfjöll, between the two largest glaciers of Iceland. It covers an area of 925 km2, reaching 1,765 m at its summit.

The subglacial volcano is a shield volcano with a caldera. The glacier itself is also the source of several rivers including the Þjórsá, Iceland’s longest river.

Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull Glaciers, Iceland

63.6N 19.1W

August 26th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Iceland - August 13th, 2009

Iceland - August 13th, 2009

Two glaciers in the south of Iceland appear as dark patches in this orthorectified image: Mýrdalsjökull (larger, right) and Eyjafjallajökull (smaller, left).

Mýrdalsjökull, literally meaning the ice cap in the marsh valley, is situated to the north of Vík í Mýrdal. Its peak reaches 1,493 m in height and in 1980 it covered an area of 595 km².

The ice-cap of the glacier covers an active volcano called Katla. The crater of the volcano has a diameter of 10 km and the volcano erupts normally every 40 – 80 years. As the last eruption took place in 1918, scientists are monitoring the volcano very carefully.

Since 930, 16 eruptions have been documented. The Laki craters and the Eldgjá being part of the same volcanic system, it can be regarded as one of the most powerful in the world.

The icecap of Eyjafjallajökull, one of the smaller glaciers of Iceland, situated to the north of Skógar, also covers a volcano. The volcano is 1,666 m in height and has erupted relatively frequently since the Ice Age. The last eruption was from 1821 to 1823, causing a fatal glacier run.

The crater of the volcano has a diameter of 3-4 km and the glacier covers an area of about 100 km². The south end of the mountain was once part of the Atlantic coastline. As the sea has since retreated some 5 km, the former coastline has left behind sheer cliffs with a multitude of beautiful waterfalls.