Aialik Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park

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Aialik Glacier flows southeast for about 4 miles (6.5 km) from the Harding Icefield to Aialik Bay, about 17 miles (27 km) southwest of Seward, Alaska. The glacier was named after the bay in 1909 by Grant and Higgins of the U.S. Geological Survey. Aialik Bay is about 5 miles (8 km) wide and extends south for 22 miles (35 km) from Aialik Glacier to the Gulf of Alaska. The name is derived from the Alutiiq name obtained by the Russians and originally recorded as "Ayalikskaya" Bay.

Aialik Bay is a deep fjord with an irregular shore indented by many small bays and coves that represent old glacial cirques. The cirques at the south end of the bay are mostly underwater, and the cirque floors rise gradually until at the north end of the fjord they are above sea level. There are four small glaciers on the eastern shore near the head of Aialik Bay, and three large glaciers on the western shore that reach tidewater. The large glaciers emanate from the Harding Icefield lying northwest of Aialik Bay.

The Aialik Glacier reaches tidewater at the extreme head of Aialik Bay. The glacial front is an ice cliff about 200 feet (61 m) high that is constantly discharging ice and with activity peaking during the summer months. There is no medial moraine on the Aialik Glacier, and the lateral moraines, especially the one on the northeast side, are not large. Evidence of more advanced positions of the glacier terminus, occupied centuries ago, are indicated by terminal moraine shoals stretching across the head of the bay adjacent to Pederson Lagoon. Read more here and here. Download the latest version of the CoastView app and explore more of Aialik Bay here:


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