Aerial view of the rapidly retreating Stagnation Glacier (B28)
General view of the rapidly retreating (about 20 m annually) Stagnation Glacier (B28) from an altitude of 600 to 700 m. Fountain Glacier (B26) is on the extreme left, and the ice in the valley (foreground) is an icing (aufeis or naled) that is more than 7 m thick over outwash from both glaciers. The faint lineations on the bouldery stagnation area in front of B28 are the traces of boulders that mark medial moraines on the active glacier's surface. The bouldery forefront of the glacier, between the prominent 75-m-high ice-cored lateral moraines that mark the neoglacial maximum, is underlain by basal glacial ice that is protected from melting by its sediment cover. An interesting question is why B28 is retreating so rapidly and adjacent B26 rests within 50 m of its neoglacial maximum. The answer probably lies in the contrasting albedos and, therefore, heat balances between the surface-debris-poor B26 and the surface-debris-rich B28. B28 may be more of a heat sink because of the high concentration of boulders and other debris on its surface.
Updated 04/05/2010 AW