Day 55 (August 14) – West Fork Toklat Glacier

We spent the morning setting up the base GPS station, and installing time lapse cameras before starting up the valley to the glacier. The lower part of the glacier is rapidly melting with parts of it melting more rapidly than others depending on the amount of rock and dirt insulating the ice. The area is thus an uneven and chaotic surface. Our goal was to map the lower edge of the glacier and several transects across the glacier by using a special highly accurate GPS instrument.

Rob explaining how to set up the GPS Base Station

Rob explaining how to set up the GPS Base Station

Approaching the source of the outlet stream.

Approaching the source of the outlet stream.

The outlet stream suddenly appears from under the glacier as a bubbling spring.

The outlet stream suddenly appears from under the glacier as a bubbling spring.

View up glacier from eastern medial moraine

View up glacier from eastern medial moraine

Where the moraine has collapsed due to stream action you can see how thin the layer of rock is on top of the ice.

Where the moraine has collapsed due to stream action you can see how thin the layer of rock is on top of the ice.

Rob and Timmy logging a data point

Rob and Timmy logging a data point

Walking the crest of the medial moraine.

Walking the crest of the medial moraine.

Small tributary glacier

Small tributary glacier

On the lateral moraine

On the lateral moraine

Descending the lateral moraine at the beginning of a transect.

Descending the lateral moraine at the beginning of a transect.

Crossing a section of bare ice on the transect.

Crossing a section of bare ice on the transect.

Locating a marker boulder on the bare ice.

Locating a marker boulder on the bare ice.

Heading back along the western medial moraine

Heading back along the western medial moraine

Erosion of moraine by stream

Erosion of moraine by stream

Mapping the outlet stream

Mapping the outlet stream