Grewingk Creek, Kachemak Bay

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Grewingk Glacier is located on the Kenai Peninsula, and trends northwest for about 12 miles (19 km) to its terminus at Grewingk Creek, that flows northwest for 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to Kachemak Bay, Alaska. The glacier and creek were named in 1880 by W.H. Dall, of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, for Constantin Grewingk, who in 1850, published a work in German on the geology and volcanism of Alaska.

Glaciers in retreat generally produce high river discharges, large volumes of sediment, and steep channel slopes. Rivers emanating from glaciers respond to these processes by developing a braided river pattern with multiple channels separated by bars or islands. Braided channels are variable and dynamic systems, with high rates of channel adjustment. Three factors are probably necessary for braiding to occur: 1) an abundant sediment supply, 2) erodible banks, and 3) high stream power.

When glacial rivers reaches the sea, the resulting beach sediments can be highly dynamic, with erosion events caused by storm-driven waves, and deposition events caused by glacier surges and retreats. In Kachemak Bay, during periods of relative sediment stability, animals such as the blue mussel and plants such as the rockweed colonize the beach face creating multi-colored patterns. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Grewingk Creek and Kachemak Bay.