Notes on Glacial Recession  
The Rate of Recession (1896, Muir Glacier)
by: Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore
 
 Rain weathers and breaks away the ice most rapidly, and during a close watch maintained by the writer in July and August, 1891, it did not seem that the stages of the tide had any connection with the fall of the ice. On many warm, clear days, when a hot sun fell upon the ice front for 16 to 18 hours continuously, there was no sound. After days of silence came tremendous displays, one quarter and one third of the long wall falling away at once. These falls often occurred in the colder hours seeming to free most bergs. By photographic evidence the glacier moved more than 1,000 yards between Prof. Wright's  visit of 1886 and Prof. Reid's first camp in 1890. Photographs taken by the writer in 1891 showed a retreat of 300 yards in the next year. Prof. Muir reconized a retreat of a mile between his visits of 1880 and 1890, and the writer was as much bewildered by the marked changes occurring between 1883 and 1890. In 1894 the fron line had advanced nearly to the line of 1890.
Scource: Scidmore, Eliza Ruhamah. Appleton's Guide-Book to Alaska. New York:
D. Appleton and Company, 1896, 104
The Trip of 1890 (Glacier Bay, Alaska)
by: John Muir
July 6,
It was here that I camped in 1880, a point at that time less than half a mile from the front of the glacier, now one and a half miles.
 
Scource: Muir, John. Travels in Alaska Boston & New York:
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1915, 1998, 229
The Trip of 1879
The Discovery of Glacier Bay
By: John Muir
 
Glacier Bay is undoubtedly young yet. Vancouver's chart, made only a century ago, shows no  trace of it, though found admirably faithful in general. It seems probable, therfore, that even then the entire bay was occupied by a glacier of which all those described above, great though they are, were only tributaries. Nearly as grreat a change has taken place in Sum Dum Bay since Vancouver's visit, the main trunk glacier there having receded from eighteen to twenty - five miles from the line marked on his chart.
 
Note:  George Vancouver charted this area in his 1793 Expedition
 
Source: Muir, John. Travels In Alaska. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1915, 1998, 159
Hubbard Glacier (Alaska) Expands
November 2002
The summer of  2002 saw Hubbard Glacier expanding. Pushing a gravel moraine toward Gilbert Point  closing off Russell Fjord by July. This then formed a dam, creating a fresh water lake (from melted snow). The water broke through the ice  on August 14, 2002. Thereby draining the lake.
 
Scientists claim that it is only a matter of time until the fiord becomes completely blocked again. It is reported, at which point the fresh water lake will build up, and spill into the Situk River containing major salmon and steel head fisheries creating a localized commercial disaster.
 
source: Alaska Magazine "Glacier Seals Off Fjord", Anchorage Alaska, Morris Communications, Publisher William S, Morris III, Novermber 2002 issue, p 12
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