The past two days have been spent wrapping up the field work and winding things down. Tomorrow we pack up the equipment, and on Thursday we fly back to Longyearbyen to begin our travels home.

    The weather improves

    Yesterday the day started foggy (like Sunday) but it cleared up and we ended up doing some field work. Although the fjord was really choked with ice, which made finishing up the bathymetry work a challenge.

    Kongsfjord looking towards Kronebreen Glacier
    The view yesterday morning which ended up being a beautiful day after a foggy start. Although the ice wasn’t too bad at this point, it got worse and worse as the day went on!
    We were able to do a couple more CTDA research tool that is submerged in the water to measure conductivity (salinity), temperature, and depth. casts and a drogue measurement, to monitor the plume velocity coming out of Kongsvegen GlacierA mass of ice that persists for many years and notably deforms and flows under the influence of gravity.. It seems like the flow velocity off that glacier is still low. We do expect that to change any day - especially when a large supraglacial lake (a lake that forms from meltwater on top of the glacier) several kilometers up the glacier decides to drain itself. Unfortunately we will not be here to witness that.

    However, we did witness another large iceberg calving event with a huge wave. Check out this video I took of that!

    Calving event in front of Kongsvegen Glacier
    A large calving event in front of Kongsvegen Glacier. The wave was pretty large from this one!
    I was also able to do some drone work to monitor the sediment plumes coming off of Kongsvegen and Kronebreen.

    Upwelling plume in front of Kronebreen glacier
    The brown, ice free water that is visible from the drone shows where sediment-laden water is coming off the glacier in a sediment plume.
    Upwelling plume in front of Kongsvegen glacier
    You can see the sediment plume coming off Kongsvegen glacier wherever there are no icebergs. The icebergs are pushed out of the way by the plume.
    Last night we had our live Zoom “Polar Connect” event. It was great to see so many of my students, our family members, other PolarTREC teachers and other interested people. We really enjoyed presenting, and the questions were great! (If you couldn’t attend the webinar, it was recorded and archived. The link for the recording will be available shortly.)

    PolarConnect event in Ny Ålesund
    Our team presents at our live Zoom event. At this moment Kelly is presenting while Xander monitors the chat.

    A great hike and views of the ice sheet

    This morning we had a little excitement during breakfast. We were able to witness an Arctic fox hunting a group of geese. One little fox proud walked by the cafeteria with a goose in its mouth! I was only able to get a few seconds of video, but here it is.

    Today the fjord was so full of ice that doing bathymetry or oceanography work was not really possible. If there are too many small icebergs floating in the water, it’s too risky for the equipment. But we were able to drive the boat slowly over to Collethøgda Mountain, where Xander and I took a long hike while Julie and Kelly tried unsuccessfully to do some bathymetry. There’s no trails to hike, so you just make your way up the best way you can across the glacial debris. We had consulted with some other scientists who told us a good way to the top, but we missed the turnoff which would have led us to the top. So we were only able to go about halfway up, but we went all the way to the back of the mountain where we had some incredible views, ate our lunch, and I flew the drone to capture the scene.

    Check out this video I took which shows you how magnificent the scenery was from the back of Collethøgda.

    view from Collethøgda Mountain
    Here I am on a moraine on Collethøgda Mountain looking over Kongsbreen and Kronebreen Glaciers.
    Xander and Mark on our hike
    Xander and me at the end of our hike today.
    The view from Collethøgda allowed us to see much further back along Kronebreen and Kongsbreen Glaciers. What becomes obvious from that vantage point is how all these glaciers connect into a huge ice sheet that covers most of the interior of the island that we’re on (SpitsbergenSpitsbergen is the largest island in the Norwegian High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. To see a map of Spitsbergen and Svalbard click here., the largest of the Svalbard islands). The immense amount of ice was breathtaking as glaciers were visible from all directions.

    view down Kronebreen Glacier from Collethøgda Mountain
    The view down Kronebreen Glacier from Collethøgda Mountain.
    looking at the side of Collethøgda Mountain
    If you look closely you can see Xander and me; this picture was taken from the drone!

    Looking down on the glaciers also allowed us to see meltwater features - small supraglacial lakes, moulins (where water flows down in holes in the glacier) and streams. When we think about the sediment plumes that we are monitoring at the glacier faces, the source of much of that water is all the meltwater we see on top of and next to the glaciers. It was also really interesting to see the difference in texture between Kronebreen, which has deep crevasses and many small lakes - and Kongsbreen, which has much tighter crevasses and many small meltwater channels but no visible lakes. This can be explained (I think) because Kongsbreen, which is now almost entirely grounded on land, is flowing much more slowly than Kronebreen.

    supraglacial lakes on Kronebreen
    Some of the meltwater lakes on Kronebreen glacier. The scale is difficult to gauge here - I would estimate that the largest lake in this image is at least 200-300 meters long.
    meltwater on Kongsbreen
    Meltwater channels forming on the top of Kongsbreen Glacier. Notice how different the texture of Kongsbreen is from Kronebreen.

    So here we are, about to pack up and go home. It’s too early to say what our data is telling us, especially as we still need to look back to previous years to compare and look for patterns. But we have learned a great deal nonetheless. Tomorrow will be a packing day, and maybe we’ll have time to do a short hike behind Ny Ålesund.

    I will continue to monitor the blog, and will probably write at least another post or two. But keep the comments coming, even as our work slows down.

    Boots after a hike
    Xander and my boots after our muddy hike up Collethøgda

    Ny Ålesund, Svalbard
    Weather Summary
    Cloudy and cool
    6°C (43°F)
    Wind Speed
    2 m/s


    Mark Goldner

    Thanks, Erin! I'm definitely learning as I go - I only started flying drones in the middle of June, so it's been a lot of trial and error. I see that you are also learning to fly drones - we should connect at some point. My family has a summer place on the coast of Maine in Georgetown, so perhaps we can get together and do some drone flying on the Maine coast, and learn from each other.

    Charlotte Pappas

    Hello Mr. Goldner,

    Foremostly, it was interesting hearing about the hike you had at the Collethøgda Mountain, and the views you saw of the Kronebreen and Kongsbreen Glaciers.
    For example, I thought that it was fascinating how you could see that the Kronebreen and Kongsbreen Glaciers, and others, all connected to a huge ice sheet that covers most of the interior of Spitsbergen. I personally did not know that glaciers could connect to each other, or stay connected to a sheet of ice, so it was interesting information for me to learn about, and I am now wondering if all glaciers are connected to a sheet of ice.

    Furthermore, I also was intrigued when reading about how you could also see meltwater features on the Kronebreen and Kongsbreen Glaciers from the Collethøgda Mountain. I saw the picture that you took of some meltwater lakes on the Kronebreen Glacier, and the glacier part in the picture almost looks like it is part of a mountain, as it has many jagged edges, which caused by the fact that it is receding and melting. Also, the meltwater lakes from the picture look like they are mostly shallow, but it is hard to see their depth.
    I additionally find it interesting that you noticed that the Kronebreen Glacier has deep crevasses and many small meltwater lakes , but the Kongsbreen Glacier has tighter crevasses and no visible meltwater lakes, and I agree with you that the reason for this is likely due to the fact that the Kongsbreen Glacier is flowing and melting at a slower rate then the Kronebreen Glacier, so since it is loosing less ice, meltwater lakes are not being formed yet. However, I predict that when the Kongsbreen Glacier's receding rate gets higher, then meltwater lakes would start to become more visible on it.

    Overall, my main takeaway from this post is that glaciers are complex natural features, as they can connect to ice sheets, and they can also show different features based on the stage and rate they are in their receding process.
    One last wondering that I have is what is the rate at which a glacier needs to be flowing and melting at in order to form meltwater lakes?

    That is all my thoughts for now.

    That is all

    I did not know that the Kronebreen and Kongsbreen Glaciers

    Charlotte Pappas

    Mr. Goldner,

    I did not realize that the words "That is all", and "I did not know that the Kronebreen and Kongsbreen Glaciers" were at the end of my comment when I saved it.
    I did not mean to write them, and I did not see them when I was reading over it.

    I am sorry if they are confusing.

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Charlotte, thanks again for another insightful comment. You are correct in noticing the sharp edges of Collethøgda, as well as other mountains, which were carved out by the glaciers flowing through the area.

    Not all glaciers are connected by an ice sheet. For example, there are smaller glaciers in places like Glacier National Park or the Cascades in Washington state which are isolated mountain glaciers. But at some point, such as during the last Ice Age, these were also probably part of a large ice sheet that covered large parts of Northern North America.

    Your thoughts about the meltwater lakes are interesting. Kongsbreen Glacier is actually melting very quickly, but it's not flowing as quickly - this is because it longer ends in the ocean. So it's "grounded" on shore, which provides a sort of stopper keeping it from flowing faster. Kronebreen and Kongsvegen still flow into the ocean, so there's not as much keeping them from flowing quickly. But I'm interested in the question you're asking - whether the flow rate has any connection to the presence (or absence) of meltwater lakes. I'm curious to learn more about that too.

    Kiki Suijten

    Mr, Goldner
    First, I want to say this really is an incredible experience and I really hope to learn about it the coming school year.

    When I saw the picture of you and Xander I immediately noticed, what I think was a gun to protect yourself from polar bears, on Xanders back. This made me wonder about where they live, and how many there are. Also, when I compared the pictures of the two meltwater lakes I noticed that the meltwater lake on top of the Kongsbreen glacier looked more like waves then the lakes on Kronebreen , that were more clumps of meltwater lake.

    I thought the sediment plumps looked very interesting, but it did made me wonder about things. how do the sentiment come out of the glacier? how does it seperate the icebergs with the glacier, how does this impact the glacier, and does it make it harder for polar bears to live?

    The hike you made looked interesting and really beautiful. The calving was huge, how far was the boat from it? Lastly, when I looked at the Details on top of the page, I saw that the wind speed was 2m/s, does this mean 2 mile per second or 2 meter per second? and is that hard?

    I hope you enjoyed your expedition and you find helpful things from the data you collected,

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Kiki, thanks for your thoughtful comments and questions. You are correct - the rifle was for protection against polar bear attacks. Although polar bears are common on this area, particularly on the coast where it remains ice-free in the summer, it's pretty rare to have an encounter with one of them. In the whole area of Svalbard there are around 3,000 polar bears.

    What I think you noticed on top of Kongsbreen were probably meltwater channels and not lakes. These are basically rivers of meltwater than flow along the top of the glacier. Both exist but the lakes seem to be much less common on Kongsbreen than on Kronebreen. This is probably because Kongsbreen has already retreated up onto land, so it's not flowing as fast. This sort of "tightens" it up, so it has fewer large crevasses and other places where meltwater can accumulate. Compare that to the top of Kronebreen which has many deep crevasses.

    The calving event we witnessed in front of Kongsvegen (that I showed the video of in this post) was probably about 200 meters from the boat. We wouldn't want to get much closer than that - and you can see why!

    2 m/s means 2 meters per second. (Although in the US we use the English system, since scientists around the world use the SI system I'm trying to use that as much as possible!) A wind of 2 meters per second is a very light breeze that you might just feel on your skin. Here's a link to the Beaufort Scale of wind speed so you can see how the numbers translate to what you'd feel or notice.

    Jackson Musto

    Dear Mr. Goldner,

    First off, hello! This is the first comment I've posted on your journal entry the summer, but I have been following your trip and have been amazed by some of the drone footage you captured on camera and thoroughly impressed by the amount of research you were able to complete despite the many delays you experienced. It was good to know that at least you and the team you were working with were able to enjoy sightseeing despite the circumstances.

    Your journal entry on how the fog prevented you from conducting much research got me thinking. It makes sense that the fog, rain, wind, etc, could all impact the waves and visibility, which obviously are important when you're traveling on a small boat near massive glaciers piloting a delicate drone, but would the subtler conditions impact the type of tests you are performing as well?

    For example, on a warmer day when there may be more melted runoff from the glaciers, would you chose that particular day to take samples of that runoff because there would be a larger quantity of it to analyze? Or when you're planning on taking ariel footage of the icebergs, would you chose a day in particular when you can tell that there would be larger and or more icebergs in a certain area due to such weather conditions?

    Those types of those activities are likely to be planned in advance regardless of weather, but are there still activities similar to those I mentioned above that you might pick and choose times for based on the day's weather?

    Now, I'm mainly am just writing this comment to satisfy my own curiosity and to say hello, and I of course understand if you're unable to get back to me before school starts again. But if possible I am really interested in knowing the answer to this question.


    Mark Goldner

    Hi Jackson! Thanks for your comment and for following along. Your question is really a great one, and it's something we had to consider every single day. For example, some days the weather was fine, but the wind was too high for me to fly the drone. Also, I did notice that some days the lighting wasn't as good to get clear and crisp drone footage. I found that partly cloudy skies seemed to be the best. If it was too sunny, the light reflecting off the ice could create overexposed images, and if it was too cloudy sometimes I lost the contrast I was looking for.
    But more importantly, we found towards the end of our time that there was so much ice in the fjord - small icebergs everywhere - that it made it almost impossible to conduct the bathymetry survey work we were doing. You can drive a boat slowly through small icebergs, but it can damage any equipment you have hanging down off the boat (like the bathymetry equipment). The fact that there was so much ice was probably due to a lack of wind and also pretty warm conditions. The warmer air would have promoted more iceberg calving, and the lack of wind would keep the icebergs from flowing out of the fjord.

    Sometimes time of day made a difference too - so we would check the weather forecast constantly.

    Joachim Panitz

    Hello mr. Goldner, packing your thing to go home from a wonderful trip is always mixed between sadness to leave and excitement to go home. In these incredible trips it’s so easy to see how human we are at the end of the day, because even if two people in the expedition don’t speak the same language, they can still understand each other by the passion of science and by the emotion of going home.
    It is also very incredible to see these millions of year old glaciers right in what would be your backyard!
    I hope your trip back home went well and that you made great memories in Norway!

    Joachim Panitz

    On the first phrase I meant things and not thing.

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Joachim, thanks for your comment. Yes, it was indeed bittersweet to leave the Arctic and come home. I love the landscape and the people up there, and it is sad to leave not knowing when I might return. I also like your comment about how we are all human - science really fosters that attitude because in order to be successful as a scientist you need to collaborate with other scientists. This is especially true with the kind of research we were doing - glacier systems are so complex that you can never get all the information you want, by yourself, given the limitations of time and money. So you need to rely on others to help fill in the gaps in your knowledge. (In terms of the language barrier, we are very lucky to be native English speakers since English is the dominant language through which scientists communicate these days!)

    Paige Hammond

    Hi Mr. Goldner,
    I thought I added a comment here a few days ago but I couldn't find it so I'm going to redo it. I thought the cave you saw was really cool and I was wondering what was inside. Is there anything there? Or is it just ice. Also, when calving events like the one you saw happen, is it dangerous for animals to be there?

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Paige, I think I may have responded to your comment, but perhaps not? What is happening in the cave is that water is coming up from under the glacier and shooting upward quickly (this is because the water coming off a glacier is freshwater, which is less dense than the salty ocean water, so it rises. As the freshwater rises up, it can carve out a sort of tube running vertically. As it hits the surface, this appears as the cave feature we observed. So it's basically a an arch of ice with rising water underneath it. One cool thing that happens is that the freshwater stuns small animals like krill (they are adapted to saltwater, so the freshwater acts to stun them in a process called osmotic shock). The stunned krill is then an amazing "all you can eat buffet" for birds. I imagine it can be quite dangerous for birds to be in there in case the arch collapses - which it does often - but I've never witnessed birds getting hit by ice.

    Molly Schroder

    Hello Mr. Goldner,
    I was wondering if you were ever able to step foot on the glaciers? After reading your journals and your presentation at the end of the year, I have learned glaciers can be very dangerous. If you weren't able to step foot on the glaciers, was it hard to see something so beautiful that you have been researching and studying but not being able to touch it? How did that feel? Or if you were able to go on it, was it scary to think it might collapse at any second? Thanks!


    Mark Goldner

    Hi Molly, these are great questions! I have been able to step onto glaciers that are not actively flowing. For example, there are many land-terminating glaciers that no longer come out to the ocean that are very stable and you can walk on those. You still need to be careful not to slip and fall into crevasses (large cracks that can be very deep). But those glaciers are not at risk of collapse because they're pretty thin and are resting on the land. The glaciers we were studying are much more dangerous to walk on, because they are very active, have very deep and unstable crevasses, and jut out over the ocean. With proper mountaineering equipment and a lot of safety protocols in place, people do travel by foot across these glaciers in some cases. (We were not set up to do that, unfortunately!)

    To answer the other part of your question, it's a great experience to walk on a glacier and to realize that you are walking on this massive very slowly flowing river of ice. I am always struck by how dirty the ice is - how much sediment is locked into the ice. In fact, at the edge of the glacier it's hard to tell where the glacier ends and the land begins because the edge of the glacier, while frozen, contains so much sediment that it just looks like frozen blocks of mud!


    Dear Mr. Goldner,
    I love how much effort you guys put into this blog. I really like how you guys got a drone to get better pictures it shows how much you guys care about this trip. One question I have is was there any days where it was to cold to go on the field and if so how cold was it.

    Mark Goldner

    Hey Armani, thanks for your comment. Yes, it was amazing to get the drone footage and this allowed us to understand much better how the glacier is structured and how it is changing. It was never too cold to go out into the field. In the summer, the temperatures never get below around 30°F, and this summer I don't think it got below 33° at all. We also wear lots of cold weather gear so we stayed pretty warm most of the time! Here's a goofy little video I made that shows us gearing up each morning that will give you a sense of what we had to wear.

    Eva Berkson


    It must've been really interesting to see that arctic fox, especially right out your window! I know you went to the same island in 2011, how has that impacted your trip? Have there been large changes since you were last there? Do you plan to go back in a few years? That hike up the glacier must've been pretty amazing but how is it safe to walk on glaciers? Do you have to stay away from the front because of calving? I really enjoyed reading your blog!


    Mark Goldner

    Hi Eva, thanks for your questions! The main thing that we really noticed was how much the glaciers have retreated in the past ten years. Everywhere we looked there was less ice than there had been in 2011. There are also some changes that aren't about climate change that I noticed. For example, in 2011 we hardly saw any Arctic Foxes - this year there was an abundance of them! Also we didn't see as many seals back then, but this year there were quite a few. So that was a pleasant surprise!
    When we walked up on and near the edge of a glacier, we didn't go into the really active part, because of how unstable they are. But on the edges where they meet up with the rock they are pretty stable. The biggest risk was the deep mud that they leave behind - and also how incredibly slippery the ice can be at times.

    Nico Liteplo

    Hi again Mr. Goldner,
    It’s great to see that all of your data has been successfully collected and partially analyzed to the point that you can already pack all of your equipment. It’s also great to see that not only are you there to study the glacier but that you also get time to enjoy yourself and nature on hikes such as the one that you haven taken today.
    A question that I have is what do you do with the equipment and the samples? Is the equipment kept in Svalbard or is it brought to a different location for storage? Are the samples kept to study further or thrown out before you leave?
    Thanks a lot!

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Nico, great question! We didn't have a lot of samples to process, since most of what we collected were just measurements of the water. The filter paper with the sediment samples were shipped in petri dishes back to UMASS Amherst. All of the equipment that we shipped up to Svalbard was re-packed and shipped back to UMASS Amherst, where Julie will store it until her next adventure! She is hoping to go do some work in Alaska in the next year or so, and she will bring some of that equipment with her.


    Hi mr.goldener!
    this is a short question but I was very confused how the rain or or other wether efects the glacier.

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Mae, I think you are interested in how external factors (rain, wind, temperature) can affect glaciers. The answer is pretty straightforward and just remember that a glacier is just a large block of ice (with a lot of rocks embedded in it). Just like an ice cube or a snowball would melt faster if it was a higher temperature, the glacier will melt faster if the air is warmer. If there is more rain, this may also accelerate the melting of the glacier, because water is better at transferring heat energy than air is. So if you had a particular temperature of air hitting the glacier, and compare that to the same temperature water hitting the glacier, the water would likely melt the glacier faster.


    what I mean by this is dose the rain effect the movement of the glacier? I thought of this question because I saw your post on the weather. I was also wondering what is the average rate that the glacier is moving back. thank you for taking your time to share your amazing journey with me!


    thank you you answered my question!

    Kylie Kovalko

    hello Mr. G!

    Before I ask my question, can I just say this trip looks amazing! Sadly I could not follow along during my summer because I didn't have a device that gave me access to your journal page. But reading this one made me tempted to read more! I love how you mentioned the arctic fox hunting the geese, which leads me to my question! How do the arctic foxes survive in such cold weather? I know they hunt geese as a food supply but is their fur coat strong enough to keep them warm? I looked up some arctic fox pictures and their coats don't seem to be that thick so How on earth do they survive!!! I researched it a little and Google and all that came up was they have a strong fur coat. but how can such a small animal's fur keep them warm in weather? Besides that, I think your trip must have been really fun and I'm looking forward to reading the others to form my next question!


    Mark Goldner

    Hi Kylie, What a great question! It's really amazing the different strategies that animals have to survive in such cold temperatures. Fur is really a remarkable substance because it is a great insulator (which means that heat energy can't penetrate through it very easily) and it traps air well too, in the little pockets that form between the hairs. Also because it contains a lot of oil it is very water resistant (oil repels water). So for all of those reasons it keeps animals very warm in the winter. It's no accident that people who live in cold climates traditionally liked to wear animal furs to keep them warm!

    Bianca Choy

    Dear Mr.Goldner,
    Firstly, I just want to say how interesting it was to learn about the glaciers and your experience. When you mentioned the part where the meltwater lakes on Kronebreen glacier my mind had a question and it was "Why is the water super vibrant blue?". I was also really amazed about the drone video. I could see so many details and how many glaciers there are. A question I have is what large changes were there compared to your 2011 trip to now? I also really liked the video you took about the arctic fox. It was really cool to watch and know that you saw it literally outside your window.


    Mark Goldner

    Hi Bianca, what a great question! I think it's for the same reason that the glacier ice is blue. That is because glacier ice is so compressed that it changes the way light penetrates through it. Normal ice is pretty transparent, but when it gets compressed in a glacier (you have to realize that glaciers can be hundreds, or even thousands, of feet thick - all that ice squishing together makes the water molecules inside get closer together. This makes it so that low energy light (Red, Orange, Yellow) has a harder time getting through the ice than higher energy light (like Blue). So you see more blue than other colors, which is why it's blue. The meltwater lakes are giving you a little window down into the glacier where you can see the blue ice. The ice on top of the glacier typically looks white because the top layers of ice expand a bit making them more like the normal ice and snow you are used to seeing. (I hope that's clear! If not, I can show you with a diagram.)


    Hello Mr Goldern,
    First I want to say, your videos are absolutely stunning! After doing some research about fjords, bathymetry, and drogues; I found the drogues the most interesting tool used in your expedition. I would love to learn more about the material and design of the drogues. The aerial view of the two different glaciers and the surrounding fjords was gorgeous and looked so different. Kongsbreen Glacier has a smooth cracked and looked like images of Death Valley Dessert but frozen verses the Kronebreens Glacier which reminded me of a frozen version of an aerial view of rolling waves. I wonder if the size or the depths of the fjords effect the way the glaciers look from above. What is the difference between a bathymetry and a fathometer or is there no difference at all? From what I read and I know, they both share how deep the water is from the surface.



    Sorry! I mean't Goldner, and I was typing too fast.

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Gwen, yes the drogues are pretty cool because they are so simple! It's made with PVC pipes fastened together, and some fabric to make the "sails". Then we attach a laundry bag with rocks and a plastic buoy. The buoy holds it close to the surface, and the rocks make sure it's pointing vertically.

    Great observations of the two glaciers. Kronebreen is more stretched out, so it has that kind of wavy appearance you described. Those "waves" are really deep crevasses. Kongsvegen is much smoother because it's not quite as stretched out. What's interesting is that people think Kongsvegen is about to surge, or flow forward really fast, and I think that the pressure is building up, keeping it more intact. When it begins to surge, it will probably look much more like Kronebreen.

    A fathometer is a type of echo sounder, which is the same technology used in our bathymetry equipment.

    Erin Paik

    Dear Mr. Goldner,

    This is my second comment on your blogs! The drone footage that you take is really breathtaking, I can't imagine how beautiful it might've looked in person! The video of part of the glacier off was really cool, and it's amazing that you could catch that on camera!

    As for my question, which might or might not relate, why in some pictures is the water reflective and some pictures not? Does that have anything to do with sediments in the water?

    Hope you can get back to me!

    - erin

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Erin, the reflectivity of the water is partly due to the sediment content in the water, but also the amount of sunlight shining down. If it's sunnier, then the water tends to be more reflective because there's just more light to reflect.


    how do the glacier become pointy

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Teo, you need to know that glaciers are solid ice that is flowing! How does a solid object flow? Well, in order to do that it needs to break up into smaller chunks that essentially move separately from each other. That's why there are so many cracks in the glacier. Sometimes as the glacier gets closer to the ocean, it gets sort of stretched out - that why the cracks widen and turn into what we call crevasses. The ridges between the crevasses can get super unstable, and chunks will fall off in unpredictable ways. The result is the pointy structure you are referring to.


    Hi Mr. Goldner,
    I can tell you had a great summer by all your explanation on your trip. I loved all the picture and videos you took. One thing I especially enjoyed watching was the fox chasing the geese. Although it was a short video I still found it so cool how you caught that on camera and the way you explained it through your writing. One question I have about the Arctic fox is what makes it so different then a regular fox? Another thing I was wondering about was did you ever get to closer to the glaciers then you did last time you visited?
    - Cally

    Mark Goldner

    Hi Cally, I'm not an expert on foxes so I don't have a good answer beyond what you might be able to find in a good Google search. But I do know that Arctic Foxes have one cool adaptation, which is that their fur color changes from winter (white) to summer (brown).

    We didn't get physically closer to the glaciers than last time - it's just not safe to get closer than about 100 yards from a glacier face because of the risk of icebergs hitting you, or their waves capsizing the boat. But, since I had the drone, I was able to close to, and over the glaciers. So while I didn't get physically close to the glacier my drone did!