Toboggan Glacier

Three north-looking photographs, all taken from about the same offshore location, about 0.5 kilometers (0.3 miles) north of Toboggan Glacier, document significant changes that have occurred during the 103 years between August 20, 1905 and August 22, 2008. An intermediate age photograph shows the glacier on September 4, 2000. The 1905 photograph shows that Toboggan Glacier was thinning and retreating and was surrounded by a large bedrock barren zone. This suggests that retreat and thinning began in the mid- to late-19th century. Minimal vegetation existed on the fiord-facing hill slopes. In 1905, the terminus appears to have thinned to about 50% of its former thickness. Note the gently dipping sediment plain adjacent to the terminus. Note the two arcuate ridges, capped by several hummocky mounds that are located on the surface of the outwash sediments. The ridges are recessional moraines, dating from the late 19th century. (USGS Photo by Sidney Paige - 731). The 2000 photograph documents that after 95 years, the glacier is still thinning and retreating. Its terminus, a thin tongue of ice, can be seen surrounded by a mass of debris. The glacier has thinned as much as 150 meters (492 feet) and retreated more than 0.5 kilometers (0.3 miles). A large accumulation of snow sits on the valley floor adjacent to where the northern-most hanging glacier tributary previously joined Toboggan Glacier. The tributary no longer makes contact, having retreated more than 0.6 kilometers (0.37 miles) up the valley wall. The former zone of barren bedrock is now covered by vegetation. (USGS photograph by Bruce. F. Molnia). The August 22, 2008 photograph documents the continuing thinning and retreat of Toboggan Glacier. The thin tongue of terminus ice that was visible 8 years earlier is gone. Both hanging glacier tributaries continue to retreat. (USGS photograph by Bruce F. Molnia).

Getting There

Latitude: 61.02167
Longitude: -148.277
Driving Directions