Glacier, Circumcision Bay.jpg

As I was going through my "ice" shots (and there are quite a few: this is Antarctica after all!) it dawned on me that I need to categorize the ice by floating or stationary, i.e. separate icebergs from glaciers. Even though all of the icebergs are remnants of glaciers (or broken chunks of one of the many ice sheets) they have different characteristics and shapes.

Glacier, Morning Light.jpg
Glacier Calves.jpg
Calving glacier, Neko Harbor

The glaciers are constantly in motion, some moving several thousand feet in a year, and they discharge their pieces into the Southern ocean in a process called calving. This is most spectacular to witness, and can be dangerous if you are caught in the wrong place. An ear splitting crack is the first clue, followed by a thunderous boom as the piece breaks off. The resultant tidal wave is the final hazard, and depending on the size of the piece that breaks off the wave can be quite large. Our landing site near this glacier was littered with large chunks of ice 30-40 feet up from the shore that had washed up from one of these waves, and we were advised to stay alert!

Glacier, Neko Harbor2.jpg
A glacier is mirrored in Neko Harbor
Glacier, Paradise Harbor.jpg
Glacial ice, Paradise Harbor
Glacial Ice.jpg

Glaciers are formed by the continual buildup of snow, which under extreme compression turns it magnificent shades of blue ranging from a pale turquoise to a deep cobalt.

Glacier, Neko Harbor.jpg