Alaska May 06, 2018
This Ancient Forest In Alaska Is Melting Out Of The Ice
The Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau is one of the most beautiful and accessible glaciers in Alaska. Daily, hundreds of visitors see a glacier up close, just up the road in Alaska’s capital city. This gargantuan collection of hundreds of years of snow compressed is always in the process of melting, losing ice chunks at the edges and sliding into the lake below. As the glacier melts, strange and mysterious remnants of the past are sometimes revealed. There is an ancient forest emerging from beneath the glacier and it is fascinating.
More information about the Mendenhall Glacier here.
13 miles from Downtown Juneau
The Mendenhall Glacier is slowly melting and out of the empty space beneath it, an ancient forest is emerging. Researchers at the University of Alaska Southeast are following the developments.
This 36.8-square-mile river of ice flows downward to the lake below. The ice has covered the land for a long, long time, blocking light and heat from everything below.
Stumps and logs have been found in the moraines around the west side of the glacier for 50 years, but those were primarily barren stumps. These new finds have more information.
In fact, it was reported in the Juneau Empire that the forest hidden beneath the ice has been covered for over 2350 years. The latest forest emerging consists of many trees with complete root systems and even bark.
This greater material will lead to more important scientific discoveries about the ancient forest hidden in the ice.
These ancient trees have appeared in the enchanting ice caves. The melting layers of snow reveal beautiful ice caves with an unearthly blue glow.
As enchanting as a dream, these ice caves are the location of the research on the plant life from the past. It appears that as the glacier advanced, it snapped trees off and buried them deep in the base of the glacier.
As the melting ice reveals that the trees are between 1200 and 2350 years old. As the glacier advanced, it decimated forests at different eras of the past.
It seems that the Mendenhall Glacier has waxed and waned through time to some degree, teaching us more about the life cycle of the glacier.
The glacier was at its maximum about 20,000 years ago. The trees are locked in silt and sediment that can tell us about the natural history of Alaska and teach us about how the climate has changed over time.
Look for more information in the next few years about the ancient forest melting out of the Mendenhall Glacier and what the findings tell us about the Alaska of the past.
If you want to find out more about visiting this unique and amazing part of Alaska in
This Incredible Place in Alaska is like Nowhere Else on Earth and Why Everyone Should Explore These Ice Caves In Alaska At Least Once.
Have you heard about the forests melting out of the Mendenhall Glacier? Tell us about it in the comments below.