Glaciers Matter

Matanuska Glacier in Spring

Life has become like a bad episode of The Twilight Zone. COVID-19 has turned the world on its head, leaving us all wondering “will things ever return to normal?” It’s easy to lose sight of simple pleasures (like nature) when you’re stuck inside, day in, day out, watching bad television, and eating boxes of mac & cheese. We are here to remind you– GLACIERS MATTER! The snow is almost gone, temperatures are staying in the high 40’s, the river is breaking apart, and buds are on the trees; the only thing missing is you!

What is Glacier Till?

April is “mud season” on the Matanuska Glacier. As we get closer to peak melt (mid-June to mid-July), more and more water will be discharged from the glacier and will make a real mess with the silt (and other material) that covers the moraine. The glacier erodes 720 tons of material sub glacially each day–that is equivalent to 350 Ford-150 trucks!

This material is what we call TILL– poorly sorted, an unstructured deposit composed of boulders, clay, gravel, sand, and silt. Till is transported and deposited by glacial ice. It is a messy, disorganized, mass of stuff that’s contained beneath and on top of the glacier.

Learn more about Glacier Till.

Even with the mud and April showers, the glacier is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. We are currently still on our winter tour schedule meaning guided tours are mandatory until we open our self-guided trail. The self-guided trail is great, but on a guided tour you will receive a wealth of information including how glaciers are formed, how they move, and how they incredibly shape the landscape around them. Get out here and see us, and more importantly see why GLACIERS MATTER!