Malaspina Glacier

Malaspina Glacier
Malaspina Glacier imaged from STS-28.
This 1994 photo from STS-66, on a rare clear day, is of an area about 100 kilometres (62 mi) across.

The Malaspina Glacier in southeastern Alaska is the largest piedmont glacier the world. Situated at the head of the Alaska Panhandle, it is about 65 km (40 mi) wide and 45 km (28 mi) long, with an area of some 3,900 km2 (1,500 sq mi). It is named in honor of Alessandro Malaspina, an Italian explorer in the service of the Spanish Navy, who visited the region in 1791. In 1874, W.H. Dall, of what is now the U.S. National Geodetic Survey, bestowed the name "Malaspina Plateau" on it, not realizing its true geological character.[1]

It arises where several valley glaciers, primarily the Seward Glacier and Agassiz Glacier, spill out from the Saint Elias Mountains onto the coastal plain facing the Gulf of Alaska between Icy Bay and Yakutat Bay. Although it fills the plain, nowhere does it actually reach the water and so does not qualify as a tidewater glacier.

The Malaspina is up to 600 metres (2,000 ft) thick in places, with the elevation of its bottom being estimated to be as much as 300 metres (980 ft) below sea level.[citation needed] There are two lakes on its margins: Oily Lake to the northwest, at the foot of the Samovar Hills between the Agassiz and Seward glaciers, and Malaspina Lake to the southeast, close to Yakutat Bay.

Radar data and aerial photographs dating back to 1972 provide evidence that the Malaspina-Seward glacier system lost about 20 m (66 ft) of its thickness between 1980 and 2000; because the glacier is so large, that amount of shrinkage was sufficient to contribute 1/2 of one percent of the rise in the global sea level.[2]

Nearly all of the glacier is encompassed by the southeast lobe of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

In October 1969, the glacier became a National Natural Landmark.


See also



External links

Coordinates: 59°55′09″N 140°31′58″W / 59.91917°N 140.53278°W / 59.91917; -140.53278

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Malaspina Glacier — Sp Malaspinos ledýnas Ap Malaspina Glacier L Šv. Elijo kk., JAV (Aliaska) …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Malaspina Glacier — ▪ glacier, Alaska, United States       segment of the St. Elias Mountains (Saint Elias Mountains) glacier system, west of Yakutat Bay in southeastern Alaska, U.S. The most extensive individual ice field in Alaska, it flows for 50 miles (80 km)… …   Universalium

  • Glacier Malaspina — Le lobe glaciaire du glacier Malaspina en Alaska Latitude Longitude …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Malaspina — can refer to: People The Italian noble Malaspina family. Members of this family include: Alessandro Malaspina, Spanish Italian explorer Taddea Malaspina, sixteenth century Italian marchesa Places and objects, mostly named after Alessandro… …   Wikipedia

  • Malaspina Expedition — The Malaspina Expedition (1789 1794) was a scientific exploration that took place during a five year voyage around the globe, commanded by Alessandro Malaspina and José de Bustamante y Guerra. Although the expedition receives its name from… …   Wikipedia

  • Malaspina Peninsula — The Malaspina Peninsula is a peninsula in the northern Gulf of Georgia Sunshine Coast region of British Columbia, Canada. It extends northwest from the town of Powell River, which lies near its isthmus, past the settlement of Lund, to Desolation… …   Wikipedia

  • Glacier de vallée — Glacier Pour les articles homonymes, voir Glacier (homonymie). Glacier Briksdal, Norvège, 2 juillet 2006 Un glacier …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Glacier — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Glacier (homonymie). Le glacier d Aletsch (Suisse), le plus grand glacier des Alpes …   Wikipédia en Français

  • glacier — glaciered, adj. /glay sheuhr/, n. an extended mass of ice formed from snow falling and accumulating over the years and moving very slowly, either descending from high mountains, as in valley glaciers, or moving outward from centers of… …   Universalium

  • Alessandro Malaspina — Born November 5, 1754(1754 11 05) Mulazzo, Italy Died April 9, 1810 …   Wikipedia