Water and Ice:
Bear Glacier, Alaska
Landsat satellite data are increasingly used to track natural and anthropogenic changes to the land surface features of the planet. Changes to Bear Glacier in south central Alaska are illustrated by comparing 1980, 1989, and 2011 Landsat coverage.
Warming in the region has caused less buildup of snow, providing less material for glacial growth. As the glacier receded, ice at the end of the glacier broke off the main body, forming blocks of ice in the open water. The 2011 image shows considerable retreat of the tongue of the glacier.
The Landsat data are useful for study as the archive allows change over time sequences, the synoptic view allows a broad perspective of regions, and the observations can be acquired over areas where access is challenging.
Download Changepair Left Image Original
Download Changepair Middle Image Original
Download Changepair Right Image Original
June 5, 1980
May 16, 1989
May 13, 2011
Glacier and Snow Program of Alaska & Washington Science Centers: Benchmark Glaciers
Water Science for Schools – Glaciers and icecaps: Storehouses of freshwater
Glacier Studies Project
Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK) – Glacier Monitoring Studies
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