Glacial Surge
Bedrock instabilities under the Belvedere glacier on the Italian part Monte Rosa mountain range at 4000 m caused a glacial surge in 2002. Consequently, the entire glacier vastly accelerated on the steep slopes of the valley and compressed its tongue by forming impressive cerracs. The cerracs even cut through the valley-side moraine from 1850 where the alpine glaciers had their largest extent since the last ice age. The glacier terminus bulged out apparently leading to a glacier advance. In contrast, these surges lead to an accelerated deglaciation. Additionally a melt water lake developed on the glacier with a risk potential for flash-flooding the valley below. The lake was pumped down to minimize the risk of a melt water torrent.
August 2002
Pentax K2, Pentax 24mm, f/22, 1/4sec, Kodak Ektachrome E6, ISO 100, tripod