There is evidence that the McGinnis Glacier, a little-known tongue of ice in the central Alaska Range, has surged. Assistant Professor of Physics Martin Truffer recently noticed the lower portion of the glacier was covered in cracks, crevasses, and pinnacles of ice--all telltale signs that the glacier has recently slid forward at higher than normal rates. It has not been determined whether the glacier continues to surge.
Truffer, of the Geophysical Institutes Snow Ice and Permafrost Group, is having difficulty finding evidence of the glaciers history. He says the glacier hasnt been on anyones radar screen for some time. Much of what has been written about the glacier is that it was covered with debris after several landslides broke loose from Mount McGinnis after the 2002 Denali Fault earthquake. In fact, thats what prompted Truffer to explore the glacier just a few days ago on a recreational snowmachining trip with friends.
"We were going to look at the landslide area and instead we saw that the entire glacier had surged. It was completely by chance," he said.
Martin Truffer | EurekAlert!
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