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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Surging Glacier in the Pamirs


Nothing to do with Stonehenge, but it's a fantastic satellite image from NASA.

This is Bivachny Glacier in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan -- a nice example of a surging glacier.  The glaciers at the top of the image are normal enough, with smooth medial moraines running parallel with valley sides.  But the glacier in the lower part of the image has got strange loops in the medial moraine pattern, showing that there have been at least three "pulses" from the Bivachny Glacier which have disrupted the normally smooth junction with the MGU Glacier at the tip of the long spur.

Surging behaviour occurs all over the world, in just a few glaciers where special glaciological circumstances prevail -- but the mechanisms involved are still not fully understood.

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