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Glaciers Surge Toward Lower Ground!

Glacial motion can be difficult to predict. In 1986, the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska's Russell Fjord suddenly began to surge at the rate of 30 feet / 9 meters per day, creating a sizeable lake at the mouth of the fjord.

The Tokositna Glacier, on the south side of Alaska's Mount Huntington, sometimes begins to surge down the mountain with loud rumblings and snapping sounds as the ice moves and breaks.

And the massive glaciers of western Greenland, where 90% of North Atlantic icebergs come from, are among the fastest moving in the world - moving up to 4 miles / 7 km per year.

But the record for the fastest glacial surge goes to the Kutiah Glacier in Pakistan. In 1953, it raced more than 7 miles / 12 kilometers in three months, averaging about 367 feet / 112 meters per day. Watch out!

Finding the reasons for a glacier surge can be difficult. It could be climate change, earthquakes, or even the build-up of melting water beneath the ice.

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Library: Glaciers, Icebergs, Arctic
Links: Glaciers, Icebergs, Arctic
News Story: Tokositna Rumbling!
Glacier Map, Arctic Maps & Weather Reports


Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
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A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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