Fox Glacier is famous in New Zealand, and is a year round tourist attraction on the West Coast of the South Island. Visitors can view the glacier either up close by hiking to it or from an aerial perspective by taking one of the many flightseeing trips available, such as a Mount Cook Spectacular Helicopter ride which takes about 40 minutes and has a glacier landing.
This glacier is shaped in such a way that it funnels a lot of ice into narrow valleys, and as a result, the 'tubes' of ice reaches almost all the way down to the coast. It melts when it is near sea level as the air is much warmer there.
This glacier is very sensitive to climate change however. It has been retreating every year since 1949, and the end of the glacier is actually hidden from view. This is due to huge pieces of ice that have been buried for over fifty years now under the gravel riverbed that lies in front of the glacier. As the ice melts underneath, the gravel collapses under the weight and ponds and lakes form.
Due to rapid melting and the changing climate the Fox Glacier has had some 'outbreak floods' in recent years, and the melting ice gets trapped in tunnels under the glacier. When this ice that is sitting on water eventually breaks off, chunks of ice and rock debris come flooding into the valley below. This can cause severe damage if the chunks of ice are big enough.
Aerial view of a blue lake on Fox Glacier seen during a Mount Cook Spectacular with landing flight (40 minutes) with Glacier Helicopters, Westland, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/5.6, exposure time of 1/500 sec. on ISO 100, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 24mm.
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