Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers

2011 Edition
| Editors: Vijay P. Singh, Pratap Singh, Umesh K. Haritashya

Alaskan Glaciers

  • Bruce F. MolniaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2642-2_13


All glaciers located in the Alaska, USA, in North America.


In spite of Alaska’s remoteness, its glaciers have been studied for more than 150 years. More than 1,000 journal articles, books, and U.S. Geological Survey publications present details about individual glaciers or glacierized regions. Today, most Alaskan glaciers at lower elevations are retreating. However, about a dozen large valley glaciers, including Hubbard, Harvard, Meares, Taku, and Lituya Glaciers (all tidewater or former tidewater glaciers), are currently thickening and advancing. At higher elevations glaciers are thickening or exhibit no change.


Glaciers cover about 75,000 km 2 of Alaska (Post and Meier, 1980), about 5% of the State. As shown in Figure 1, the glaciers are situated on 11 mountain ranges (Alaska Range, Aleutian Range, Brooks Range, Chugach Mountains, Coast Mountains, Kenai Mountains, Kigluaik Mountains, St. Elias Mountains, Talkeetna Mountains, Wood River Mountains,...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyRestonUSA