Monday, November 26, 2007

Taylor Valley by Helo

Last week at this time, I was sitting at the window seat of a Bell 212 helicopter with my jaw on the floor as we flew through some of the most magnificent scenery I've ever seen. The sun was out, there were fluffy white clouds to give a bit of definition and the wind wasn't bad enough to bounce us around very much. A perfect ride!

Taylor valley, unlike its neighbor, Ferrar, has no single glacier filling the entire valley. There are side glaciers coming into the valley, like the Commonwealth glacier where we stopped to hike, but most of the main valley floor is a series of small lakes or dry ground. The upper valley is where the Taylor glacier is located, and we flew over the vast area where the Taylor and Ferrar glaciers go side by side. At some point in the past, the mouth of the Taylor valley was blocked and the whole thing filled up with water. You can see the remnant shelves left around the edges of the valley showing at least two different water levels.

What landform features do you see in the photos that were created by glaciers? By wind? By flowing water?

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