Kenai Fjords National Park Special Photo Collection added to NSIDC Glacier Photo Collection

NOAA@NSIDC is pleased to announce that photos of glaciers in the Kenai Fjords National Park have been added to the Glacier Photograph Collection. These 281 photos are a special collection of photos that are part of an ongoing repeat photography project documenting coastal glacier change in Kenai Fjords National Park in south-central Alaska.

In 2011, Kenai Fjords’ Physical Scientist, Deborah Kurtz, organized all of the existing glacier photos and metadata into a single database and initiated and coordinates an annual repeat photography project that continues in Kenai Fjords today.

The oldest photos in the collection were taken in the summer of 1909 when USGS surveyors, U.S. Grant and D.F. Higgins, completed a detailed survey of the tidewater glaciers along the southeastern coast of the Kenai Peninsula. Nearly 100 years later, in 2004 and 2005, USGS Geologist, Dr. Bruce Molnia (with assistance from KEFJ employee, Jim Pfeiffenberger) identified the locations of the photo sites and repeated the photos, providing a 94-year comparison of change at individual glaciers. The most recent photos in the collection are from 2020. In addition, 244 of the photos have also been added to the Repeat Glacier Photographs collection. The repeat collection now contains an additional 17 glaciers and a total of 375 photographs.

Pedersen Glacier comparisen

A comparison of Pedersen Glacier taken in 1909 (left) by U.S. Grant and in 2005 (right) by B. Molnia.

This special collection can be accessed via the Glacier Photograph Collection Search and Order interface.  Under Choose a Collection select Kenai Fjords National Park Glacier Photographs.

Access to the whole collection and documentation is also provided on the data set landing page at NSIDC.

We thank the National Park Service personnel, Deb Kurtz, who contributed the images to the archive, and Dr. Bruce Molnia, who reviewed photograph metadata.

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