Lituya Bay Outburst Flood - 2009


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North America » United States » Alaska » Glacier Bay
October 17th 2009
Published: October 18th 2009
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"He says Lituya Bay is full of ice and we won't be able to land." I sat in the copilot's seat in shock. The float plane was over Lake Crillon and we would reach Lituya Bay in minutes, expecting to land and begin a week of wilderness adventure. Seems the adventure was already in full swing. "I'm on the radio with another pilot and he says it was clear yesterday but today it is full of ice." I mumb... Read Full Entry



Photos are below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 21


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Photo from the 2008 near the outburst lakePhoto from the 2008 near the outburst lake
Photo from the 2008 near the outburst lake

The slope behind Nate is gone in the next photo
Near the outburst lake 2009Near the outburst lake 2009
Near the outburst lake 2009

The colapsed slope is the slope in the previous, 2008 photo
The head of Lituya Bay with the outburst river on the leftThe head of Lituya Bay with the outburst river on the left
The head of Lituya Bay with the outburst river on the left

Straight ahead is the Gilbert Glacier. To the right is the outwash plain of North Crillon Glacier.
Lituya Bay with ice from the outburst floodLituya Bay with ice from the outburst flood
Lituya Bay with ice from the outburst flood

Cenotaph Island looking toward the mouth of Lituya Bay.



19th October 2009

Good timing!
That trip was well timed, huh? Cool photos.
21st October 2009

Great account of a rare event
Great photo documentation and writing! It's hard to grasp the scale of the landscape in the aerial photos, even having been there. The faint white streamers in the water represent so much ice we could not push through it in our pack rafts! It's probably worth mentioning the rarity of this event. While the flow from Desolation Lake must vary considerably I have never heard of an outburst event of this scale in Lituya Bay. That doesn't mean it hasn't happened, of course; there are times when no one is there.

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