Robert Arrington

Prince William Sound Alaska: White Thunder

Deep inside the heart of Alaska's Prince William Sound and tucked away inside the maze of inlets lies the Harriman Fjord. The early settlers who first explored these fjords must have been surprised when they turned a corner and found themselves face to face with the heaving blue splendor that is today known as Surprise Glacier. This is a highly active glacier that moves upwards of 30 feet per day in the summer, which creates a huge amount of calving. The photo above is a shot of Surprise Glacier as a massive shelf of ice broke loose and blocks of ice the size of houses came crashing down. The boat was actually 1 mile away from the glacier so perspective is difficult to see. Quite a lot of calving takes place behind the wall of the glacier and it sounds like gunshots firing or the crack of a whip. When a piece of ice crashes into the water it sounds exactly like thunder and the native Alaskans actually call it "White Thunder."

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