Photographer's Note

This gigantic glacial cirque formation is seen from Glacier National Park's "Going to the Sun Road".
The beginning cirque process is called "nivation", where a hollow in a slope is enlarged by glacial erosion and weathering. Ice segregation erodes the vertical rock slope and its disintegration often includes avalanches bringing down more snow and rock to add to the growing glacier. Debris within the ice also abrades the bed surface and eventually the hollow becomes a large bowl, or amphitheater in the side of the mountain.

Global warming has impacted the National Park's glaciers. In the mid 19th century there were 150 glaciers here. Today only 25 active glaciers remain. Scientists predict they all will disappear by 2020 at the current warming rate.

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Additional Photos by Ray Anderson (photoray) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1203 W: 1 N: 3169] (13981)
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