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Knud Rasmussen 03
26 June 2007 David Astley

Knud Rasmussen 03


It is very hard to depict the enormity of a glacier without something like a boat or a person in the photograph to provide scale, but this close-up of the terminus (or ‘snout’ as it is sometimes called) provides some idea of what a glacier terminus looks like. This was taken with a wide angle lens, so we were quite close to the face of the terminus – which, as I was to find out later, is not all that safe a place to be. As I was urging our seal-hunter boatman to take us closer to the ice, one of my traveling companions was looking very nervous. I found out later that whilst I had been busy taking photographs earlier, our boatman had been telling my friends that it is not safe to go too close to a glacier terminal because sometimes there can be a shelf of ice still attached to the glacier underwater, and this can break off without warning and rise to the surface like a submarine, tipping over any boats above and its occupants into the freezing water. As well, when the icebergs are calved from the front of the glacier terminal, the wave that is created can also be quite dangerous for any small boats close-by (and ours was only an 18 footer). So it was only afterwards that I understood the look of apprehension on my friend’s face as I was urging the boatman: “Go closer please, closer please!”

Nikon D200 , AF-S Nikkor 12-24mm 1:4 G ED
f/5.6, 1/640, 12mm, CPL full exif

other sizes: small medium original
Mattias Backström10-Jan-2008 10:40
Yikes! Now you know to be careful if you ever come this close to a glacier again. Mother Nature is strong, so be careful out there.
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