University of Alaska Gulkana Glacier Expedition


  • Troy L. Péwé



Glaciation, Innissiaq Hill region, Yukon


During the summer of 1960 glaciological investigations were initiated on Gulkana Glacier in the central Alaska Range by members of the Department of Geology, University of Alaska. The programme is being supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation awarded to Dr. Troy L. Péwé, project supervisor and head, Department of Geology. Interior Alaska is a physiographic and climatic area heretofore almost neglected in glacier studies, in contrast to southeastern Alaska. The little work that has been done indicates that the glaciers in the interior deserve attention from the standpoint of present and historical fluctuations and studies of flow, ablation, and structure. At least two glaciers in the central Alaska Range are of special interest inasmuch as they have undergone advances as rapid, or more rapid than any others in the world. Gulkana Glacier lies on the south side of the Alaska Range 4 miles east of the Richardson Highway and about 135 miles southeast of Fairbanks. This glacier was chosen on account of its accessibility, size, structure, and because a 50-year photographic record of it is available. The glacier is 2.5 miles long and flows essentially to the south, the average width is about 1 mile. On the western side an ice fall divides the glacier roughly in half. The lower half is composed of three ice streams. The altitude of the terminus is 3950 feet and that of the ice in the cirque areas 6500 to 7000 feet. ...