Columbia Glacier 2001
Clinton Bailey, College of Wooster
Department of Geology

» Introduction | Photographs

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9910805. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

This page is a look at the Columbia Glacier with photos, text, and links.

Located near Valdez along the southern coast of Alaska, the Columbia Glacier covers nearly 450 square miles. It begins north in the
Chugach Mountains and flows to the south more than 40 miles where it ends at Columbia Bay. Today the Columbia Glacier is rapidly retreating. Since 1982 it's terminus has receded an incredible 12 kilometers. This retreat can be seen in fugures 1 and 2. Read more about the desintigration of the Columbia Glacier in a short article posted here.

Columbia Columbia

Figure 1. Taken in 1966, this aerial photograph shows the Columbia Glacier at an advanced position before its recent retreat.

Figure 2. This aerial photo, taken in 1996 from slightly further to the south, shows the ice margin in retreat.


 (Figures 1 and 2 were taken from


Calvin Glaciallce

Figure 3. Taken from helicopter, this is a close-up view of the calving margin of the glacier with mountains in the background.

Figure 4. The ice of the Columbia Glacier, as seen at close range from helicopter.



 Figure 5. A topographic map of the area. 


More Links on the Columbia Glacier:

Check out the pages of former research assistants Kirk Lapham and Aaron Sheer.

This page talks about the Columbia Glacier and global warming.

This link, similar to the one included in the text above, is a news story about the Columbia Glacier's fast retreat.