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Glacier Photograph Collection

Repeat Photography of Glaciers

Muir Glacier Pair

Image Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center, W. O. Field, B. F. Molnia
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Glacier photo pair example, high resolution

On the left is a photograph of Muir Glacier taken on August 13, 1941, by glaciologist William O. Field; on the right, a photograph taken from the same vantage on August 31, 2004, by geologist Bruce F. Molnia of the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

According to Molnia, between 1941 and 2004 the glacier retreated more than twelve kilometers (seven miles) and thinned by more than 800 meters (875 yards).

Ocean water has filled the valley, replacing the ice of Muir Glacier; the end of the glacier has retreated out of the field of view. The glacier’s absence reveals scars where glacier ice once scraped high up against the hillside. In 2004, trees and shrubs grow thickly in the foreground, where in 1941 there was only bare rock.