Photographer's Note

I mentioned in my two previous posts that it is difficult to appreciate the scale of a glacier from a photograph, but perhaps this aerial view might help to show the grandeur of these massive ‘highways’ of ice that cover so much of Greenland’s rugged landscape.

Greenland has some of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, with a top speed of 12.5 km per year having been recorded. The glacier in this photograph is about two kilometres wide, and has very prominent medial and lateral moraines which, from a distance, look like lane markings on a super wide highway winding its way down between the mountain ranges.

(Moraines are made up of rocks scraped off the valley sides, and when you see a distinct medial moraine like there is on the middle of this glacier, it shows that it has been formed by two glaciers merging further up the valley).

This is not the same glacier as in my two previous posts. This photograph was taken over the Watkins Mountains, about 250 km north of the Arctic Circle, and to the east of Gunnbjornsfjeld, the highest peak in the Arctic. I do not know the name of this particular glacier, as there were no maps available of this area. Probably it has not been mapped in any detail as it is a total wilderness region, the nearest settlement being Ittoqqortoormiit, about 200 km to the north-east.

The technical quality of this is not brilliant, due to it being shot through the window of a Dash 8, but the ‘dirty’ colours are true to life. I shot this at 1/2000th sec to overcome the vibration of the prop-jet engines.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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