Glaciers of the Alps

Mer de Glace

Length: 12 km; orientation: north; surface area: 32 km2 (biggest glacier in France).

Mer de Glace
Classical view from Montenvers over the tongue of Mer de Glace towards Grandes Jorasses.
Mer de Glace
Typical for this glacier are prominent ogives (view from Echelets).
Mer de Glace
Due to faster ice movement in the middle of the glacier the ogives are deformed more and more towards the glacier terminus.
Mer de Glace
Panorama photo over the tongue of Mer de Glace from the true right valley side.
Mer de Glace
Tourist infrastructure near the upper end of the Montenvers railway.
Mer de Glace
Descending towards the Mer de Glace ice cave.
Mer de Glace
Because of the ice movement the caves have to be rebuilt every year.
Mer de Glace
Tourists in the access tunnel; view towards the entrance.
Mer de Glace
Artificially illuminated sculptures; note prominent foliation in the ice.
Mer de Glace
Access to the glacier via ladders.
Mer de Glace
Practicing ice climbing in a zone of crevasses on the glacier tongue.
Mer de Glace
Blocks of light Mont Blanc granite on the tongue of Mer de Glace.
Mer de Glace
Early morning on Mer de Glace; below the confluence of Glacier de Leschaux and Glacier du Tacul.
Mer de Glace
Ogives on Mer de Glace are formed below the great icefall «Séracs du Grant»; La Tour Ronde in the background (3792m).
Mer de Glace
Extremely big glacier table near the confluence of Glacier de Leschaux and Glacier du Tacul.
Mer de Glace
High temperatures cause strong ablation and a lot of runoff; Dent du Géant in the backbround (4013m).
Mer de Glace
A meltwater stream has eroded one side of this ablation cone.
Mer de Glace
Dent du Grant and several hanging glaciers. Note the prominent firn stratification.
Mer de Glace
Firn basin above the great icefall. Sahara dust causes the yellowish colour of the firn.
Mer de Glace
Foliation in a crevasse field on Glacier du Tacul.
All photos 4 to 6 August 2008, Jürg Alean