Glaciers

Yale Glacier, College Fjord

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Yale Glacier is a massive tidewater glacier that starts between Mount Cardozo and Mount Einstein, and flows southwest for 17 miles (27 km) to Yale Arm in College Fiord, about 43 miles (69 km) west of Valdez, Alaska.

In 1794, members of the Vancouver Expedition came within about 12 miles (19 km) of the glacier. In 1887, Samuel Applegate, of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, commanded the schooner Nellie Juan and surveyed this area but also did not approach the glacier terminus. In 1898, the huge glaciers at the head of College Fjord were called "Twin Glaciers" by Captain E.F. Glenn, of the U.S. Army, on the steamship Valencia. The following year the Harriman Alaska Expedition, on the steamship George W. Elder, named the glacier in the east arm of College Fjord for Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut.

Applegate's map of Yale Glacier in 1887 indicates the glacier terminus was near or just beyond College Point, although he did not get closer than 12 miles (19 km). Aerial photographs by Bradford Washburn of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1937, show the glacier terminus was located at about the same position that it occupied when it was visited by the Harriman Alaska Expedition in 1899. The photograph shows several tributary valley glaciers descending the east wall of the fjord, and the two closest to the terminus were detached from the Yale Glacier. In 2006, Yale Glacier had retreated about 3.7 miles (6 km) from the 1937 position and had thinned substantially, in places by more than 820 feet (250 m). All of the eastern tributaries had retreated and were detached from the Yale Glacier. An island and a large area of glacially sculpted bedrock had emerged from the retreating glacier. Read more here and here. Download the latest version of the CoastView app and explore more of Yale Glacier here:

Reid Glacier, Glacier Bay

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Reid Glacier flows north for 11 miles (18 km) to Reid Inlet, about 50 air miles (81 km) northwest of Gustavus, in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The glacier was named by members of the Harriman Expedition in 1899 for Harry Fielding Reid.

Reid was a geologist and professor at the Case School of Applied Sciences and Johns Hopkins University, who visited Glacier Bay in 1890 and 1892, and made a study of the glaciers in the area. At the time of the Harriman Expedition, the name "Reid Inlet" was applied to the head of Glacier Bay which was the terminus of the Grand Pacific and Johns Hopkins Glaciers. Subsequently, these glaciers have retreated, uncovering Tarr and Johns Hopkins Inlets. Reid Glacier has also retreated from the valley it formerly occupied to form another inlet. The name "Reid Inlet" is now restricted to this newer feature.

Like Lamplugh Glacier to the west, the Reid Glacier originates in the Brady Icefield. Ice flow rates have not been measured but are estimated at 15 feet (4.5 m) per day. Both the eastern third and western third of the glacier are grounded, and only the central section is affected by high tides when calving may occur. Sediment deposited from streams draining the glacier along the eastern and western margins have gradually filling the inlet in front of the glacier and the deposits are exposed at low tides. The center of the glacier continues to slowly recede at about 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 m) per year, while the remainder of the margin has been receding at about 30 feet (9 m) per year and progressively thinning. Crevasses at the terminus are slowly closing as flow rates decrease and the terminus becomes terrestrial. Read more here and here. Download the latest version of the CoastView app and explore more of Reid Glacier here: