Index of  Bear  Webpages
Bear Viewing Association
To watch, to wonder, and to conserve
gobearviewing@hotmail.com
Ph/Fax (907) 260-9059 (Office)
39200 Alma Ave.    Soldotna, AK  99669
bear viewing Alaska, bear photography, bear safety, bear behavior
Glaciers and the Landscapes they Create
Glaciated Landscapes:  If you have ever visited either Yosemite or Glacier National Parks in the contiguous USA, you've seen glacier-sculpted
mountains, some of which are absolutely spectacular.  But the glaciers which sculpted those landscapes melted away long ago, except for a few
small patches in Glacier NP, as shown above.  Although those patches are still technically glaciers, their relationship to the forces sculpting
landscapes are comparable to the difference between water splashed out of a child's bathtub vs. an oceanic tidal wave.  If you want to see
landscape scale glaciers in the continental USA, you could climb Mt. Hood or Mt. Ranier (below).  But to get a true understanding of the full power of
glaciers, visit those in Alaska.  Some of the most awesome are located just a few miles west of Wolverine Creek, inside Lake Clark National Park.
Yosemite National Park, California
Glacier National Park, Montana
Mt. Hood, Oregon
Mt. Ranier, Washington
The best way to see glaciers is via helicopter, so that you
glacier.  Flightseeing tours are offered through nearby
Redoubt Bay Lodge.
During glaciation:  Glaciers gouge out valleys, converting their V-shape (carved by water
erosion) into a U-shaped, as shown above.

The slope at the head of the valley is gouged out in a semi-circular notch, represented by
the French term "cirque".  Where both sides of a ridge are gouged out into cirques, the
ridge separating them is called an Arete.  If a peak is gouged out on three or more sides,
the resting spire is known as a horn (e.g., the Materhorn in Switzerland).
Hanging glacier:  A glacier resting on a mountain slope that is not connected to any ice
on the valley floor.
Hanging valley:  A tributary valley that ends in a cliff well above the floor of the valley
into which it flows.  Typically, the main valley once had a bigger glacier, that gouged it
out more deeply than the tributary valley.
How glaciers sculpt mountains and valleys
Triple-horn ridge in the Chigmiut Range
west of Wolverine Creek
U-shaped Valley
(c) 2015 Eric Sambol)
Alaska
Counter
Glacial Moraines
Before glaciation:  Valleys are
V-shaped due to erosion by water.
U-shaped valley is now
free of its own glacier, it
several tributary glaciers.  
There is a very similar
valley between Mt.
Mastadonand and Mt.
Redoubt.  When a
tributary glacier crosses
the entire main valley, it
can dam up water flowing
down the valley.  
Breakage of a glacial dam
can create an enormous
flood -- as Noah learned.
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Index of  Bear  Webpages
Bear Viewing Association
To watch, to wonder, and to conserve
gobearviewing@hotmail.com
Ph/Fax (907) 260-9059 (Office)
39200 Alma Ave.    Soldotna, AK  99669
bear viewing Alaska, bear photography, bear safety, bear behavior
Glaciers, Glacial Landscapes, and Their Roles in the Ecology of Alaskan Bears