Sudden Stream, Malaspina Coastal Plain

Sudden Stream flows through the coastal plain formed by the receding Malaspina Glacier in southeastern Alaska. Malaspina Glacier is the largest piedmont glacier in the world. Piedmont glaciers occur when steep valley glaciers flow onto relatively flat plains, where they spread out into fan or bulb shapes (lobes). Situated at the head of the Alaska Panhandle near Yakutat, the glacier is about 65 km (40 mi) wide and 45 km (28 mi) long, with an area of some 3,900 sq km (1,500 sq mi). It is named in honor of Alessandro Malaspina, an Italian explorer in the service of the Spanish Navy, who visited the region in 1791. The Malaspina Forelands are part of the coastal plain exposed by the melting glacier. This area is home to the Malaspina Bears, a distinct population that forages the beaches, forests and lake country still emerging from the ice age. Learn more about the glacier here, and about the Malaspina bears here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore the Malaspina Coastal Plain.