Alaska Glacier Tours Pressure Ridges

Take an Alaska glacier tour and find our first hand what causes pressure ridges to form on a glacier.

During a recent Alaska glacier tour an experienced guide led several groups on a tour of pressure ridges that formed on top of the frozen Matanuska River.

see glacier pressure ridges on an alaska glacier tour
See upclose massive glacier pressure ridges on an Alaska glacier tour.

What is a glacier pressure ridge?

A pressure ridge is formed when the glacier follows gravity, advancing down the valley and pushes with great force on the frozen river ice. This pressure causes the river ice to bend, break, and “grow” upwards, with pieces climbing as high as 15-20 feet forming cracks called crevasses.

Eventually, these beautiful pieces of ice will fall. However, you have plenty of opportunities to see pressure ridges created by the Matanuska Glacier in the winter months when the river is frozen.

Learn more about glacier pressure ridges

If you would like to learn more about the anatomy of a glacier check out this post: Glaciers: Earth’s Rivers of Ice by the University of Ohio.