Svalbard Glacier, Lateral Moraine

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Svalbard Glacier, Lateral Moraine

This is a moraine a pile of rocky debris that has been carried and pushed by a glacier, This is a terminal moraine which means that it's pushed by the front of the glacier as it proceeded. The glacier then retreated so making a sea-water lagoon in front of it which is where we are standing. Many glaciers in Svalbard have retreated by 1-2km since 1900 and the overall ice cover on the island is estimated to have reduced by around 30% in the same time.

My main memory of this day is of an intense clarity and cleanliness.

There was also a polar bear some where on the land at the far side of the glacier in this picture that we saw through binoculars, despite being invited to "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" he evidently decided that he wasn't and so kept his distance.

Photo; © Paul Ward - These are pictures from a cruise around Svalbard inside the Arctic Circle in high summer.