Tour of M
Looking northeast towards Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall Glacier.
The Mendenhall Glacier is one of many glaciers in the
state of Alaska. The name Alaska comes from the Aleut word alyeska
meaning "great land" and indeed it is a great land! Alaska is the
northernmost, westernmost, easternmost, and largest of the 50 United States.
Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America at 20,320 feet (6,194 meters),
is located in Alaska. In addition to this there are about 100,000 glaciers
covering 29,000 square miles (Garrett, 1985) in this great land!
The majority of these glaciers are located in southern
Alaska where most of the precipitation falls. Southeastern Alaska extends
from the Alexander Archipelago and the nearby mainland in the south at the
U.S.-Canadian border northwestward to Icy Bay at the base of Mt. St. Elias.
Southeast Alaska is part of the Inside Passage, famous for its
glacier-carved fjords and mountainous coastline. The image to the left shows
Southeast Alaska. Notice the Aleutian Trench offshore (the dark area nearly
parallel to the coast). Southeast Alaska contains Alaska's two largest icefields:
Juneau Icefield and Stikine Icefield, both straddling the Coast Mountains
of Southeast Alaska and adjacent British Columbia.
Mendenhall Glacier is a small but interesting part
of the Juneau Icefield. This virtual tour will take you soaring above
the glacier as well as down to its icy surface so you can briefly see the
wonders of a glaciated region.
Summary of Glaciation in Alaska