Athabasca Glacier - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Athabasca Glacier - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Athabasca Glacier - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Athabasca Glacier - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image
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Athabasca Glacier

Location: Jasper National Park, Columbia Icefields, AB, Canada, UTM: 11U 482606 E / 5782430 N

Vital Statistics: Elevation: 2000 Metres (6,560 Feet) , Depth: 300 Metres (984 Feet)

Formation Mechanism: Climate Change

Topographic Map: 83c03 Columbia Icefield

Description: The Athabasca Glacier is easily the most famous glacier in North America. With easy access to the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93), more than 10,000 visitors pass by this river of ice every day in the summer. On busy days, more than 6,000 will take a trip on Brewster Transportation's Snowcoach Tours. These specially designed 6-wheel drive vehicles take you 1.5 km (1.0 mi) out onto the ice where you can disembark and stand on 300 m (984 feet) of solid ice. The landscape is fabulous and the experience equally unusual.

As part of the Columbia Icefield, the Athabasca Glacier represents one of six major glaciers that flow off of this enormous accumulation of ice. In area, the Athabasca Glacier covers 6 square kilometres (2.5 sq. mi) as it stretches 6 km (3.75 mi) down the valley. Its depth varies from 90 to 300 m (270-1,000 ft). The glacier moves 125 m/year (400 ft) at the headwall, but only 25 m/year (80 ft) at the snowcoach turn around and a paltry 15 m/year (50 ft) at the toe.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005