The Morteratsch Glacier (romansh: Vadret da Morteratsch) is the largest glacier by area in the Bernina Range of the Bündner Alps in Switzerland. The Morteratsch Glacier is a typical valley glacier with a pronounced ice front. The accumulation zone lies between the peaks of Piz Morteratsch, Piz Bernina, Crast' Agüzza, Piz Argient, Piz Zupò and Bellavista. From Piz Argient to the ice front in the Val Morteratsch, its horizontal extent today is about 6,4 km, with an altitude difference of up to 2,000 m. Together with the Pers Glacier, originating at Piz Palü, which joins the Morteratsch just below the rock formation Isla Persa ("Lost Isle"), it covers an area of about 15,3 km2. The volume of the ice is estimated to be about 1.2 km³. Yearly length change measurements have been recorded since 1878. For the period to 1998, the overall retreat was over 1.8 km with a mean annual retreat rate of approximately 17.2 m per year. This long-term average has markedly increased in recent years, receding 30 m per year!
At the ice front little sculptures of melting ice (like the one in the image) can be found all over the place. Beautiful but sad witnesses to global warming ....
This image concludes the Italy-Switserland series from July 2011
Image: Val Morteratsch (CH) - 21/07/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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