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Glaciers and Glaciology of Alaska: Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, July 21 - 29, 1989, Volume T301

Glaciers and Glaciology of Alaska: Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, July 21 - 29, 1989, Volume T301

Robert M. Krimmel, Mark F. Meier

ISBN: 978-1-118-66829-0

Mar 2013, American Geophysical Union

61 pages

Select type: O-Book


Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Field Trip Guidebooks Series, Volume 301.

The field trip Glaciers and Glaciology of Alaska for the 28th International Geological Congress will begin in Anchorage on 21 July 1989 and end in Juneau on 29 July 1989. Travel will be by bus, charter boat, and charter aircraft, with stops at Portage Glacier, Whittier, Columbia Glacier, Valdez, Yakutat, Glacier Bay, and Juneau.

There is nearly 75,000 square kilometers of glacier ice in Alaska. The major portion is concentrated in the Chugach and St. Elias Ranges through which the field trip traverses. In the region are major advancing and retreating tidewater glaciers, major piedmont glaciers, and surging glaciers. Columbia Glacier is in the early stage of a drastic retreat; Hubbard Glacier is advancing and recently dammed a major fjord; Variegated Glacier recently made a major surge; the glaciers in Glacier Bay underwent a drastic retreat during the last two centuries, resulting in a glacially formed landscape that has only a recent vegetation cover.

Southern Alaska has a diverse history, climate, botany, and zoology. Many of the original native cultures of North America came together in Prince William Sound. Russian fur traders and gold miners came and went, and fishing and tourism dominate the present economy. The climate of southern Alaska is maritime, with substantial precipitation and mild temperatures. The topography has a strong effect on the maritime air masses, resulting in heavy snowfalls and the development of active glaciers on seaward-facing slopes. The succession of vegetation is remarkable, ranging from barren, recently ice-free areas to forest-suffocating muskeg. Southern Alaska also is known for an abundance of marine mammals, including sea otter, seal, sea lion, porpoise, and various species of whales. On land, bear, moose, deer, wolverine, and mountain goat are common; other wildlife is abundant also.