Triftgletscher (Gadmen)

Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002

In the summer of 2002 a new glacial lake was formed as a result of the rapid recession of the glacier tongue. While the lowest part of the tongue disappeared it was still possible, albeit with difficulty, to climb down to the ice following the old path. By autumn 2003 most of the icebergs had melted, and descending from the rock barrier was no longer possible as steep sections of the path had slipped away as a result of melting of stagnant ice within lateral moraines.

Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Tabular icebergs indicate that the glacier tongue floated prior to calving.
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Taken from near the gorge, tabular icebergs
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Icefall and ice-bounded meltwater channel
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Telephoto view of the meltwater channel
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
The floating glacier tongue disintegrates into icebergs.
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Along the lake's shore dead ice is exposed.
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Icebergs floating in the newly formed glacial lake.
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Background: hanging valley above the glacial lake.
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Foreground: stagnant ice in the lateral moraine.
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Calving adjacent to the lake's left-hand shore.
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Dirt cones on the disintegrating glacier tongue.
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
On the edge of the meltwater channel, looking towards the riegel.
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Small icebergs, also called "bergy bits".
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
On the edge of the meltwater channel
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
On the edge of the meltwater channel, icefall in the background
Disintegration of a glacier tongue and formation of a new glacial lake, August 2002
Runnels in ice resulting from meltwater-runoff.
Fotos Jürg Alean