Comparing Glaciers – 2010 vs. 2013

One of the things I wanted to do after our most recent Alaska cruise was to compare glacier photos between that cruise and the one I took in 2010. I’m posting side by side images below, with some rudimentary circles to help identify matching non-glacial features in each image. Before that, though, there are some caveats to these pictures.

  1. My camera in 2010 was not as good as my camera in 2013.
  2. Some of the pictures are from different angles. The most egregious example is Mendenhall, and I call that out on the image. But, you can still compare it to the nearby features to see the change in size and height.
  3. I cropped to get the pictures as close to the same view as I could, but they’re not perfect, hence the circles to help identify what to match up between the two sides.

mendenhall before and after
As noted, it’s two different angles. The 2013 version is taken far more to the right of the glacier than the 2010 photo. But, you can still see the difference in the height and how far the arm stretches. Mendenhall has clearly diminished over time.

This one is particularly shocking. In the left, you just see the tip of the mountain behind it (Mt. Root?) over the top of the glacier. On the right, you can see most of the mountain. The picture on the left uses less zoom and is also taken from farther away. Our ship was able to get closer this year than on our previous trip. Also, I just didn’t have to zoom out as far to capture the glacier, since it’s smaller now.

So, this is interesting because Lamplugh is an advancing glacier. It’s actually getting bigger instead of smaller. However, it’s a very minor growth compared to the loss you see in the others. It also seems to have lost some height even though it’s advancing outward.

I present these just as a matter of interest, without comment on any implications. As I have tried to emphasize, my methods were not scientific. 🙂 This was just an exercise of personal curiosity in comparing vacation photos taken at different points in time.

1 thought on “Comparing Glaciers – 2010 vs. 2013”

  1. I cherish the scientific curiosity you display here. I hope I helped with satisfying that part just a bit through the years, for I too am an amateur scientist. Love the details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *