Sunday, October 10, 2010

Black Rapids Glacier

The Black Rapids Glacier abstract glacier painting by Tatiana Iliina was released yesterday. This is the 36th painting in the collection and, at 16" x 16", is the first one done in a smaller size.

Black Rapids Glacier, located in Alaska, U.S.A., is famous for being a glacier that is subject to "surging". That is, it can move very quickly.

In 1937, the Black Rapids Glacier was documented as moving about 220 feet per day, or a mile a month for a few months.

The glacier has been in decline for several years, however it is thought possible that another surge could occur.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Puncak Jaya, Indonesia - Witnessing the Last Years of an Icecap

Puncak Jaya, located in Papua Province in Indonesia, is the tallest peak between the Himalayas and the Andes.

At 4,885 m., Puncak Jaya is the 9th "most prominent" peak in the entire world, based on surrounding terrain. Having a year-round snowcapped peak also made it one of the curiosities of the tropical world.

The Puncak Jaya Icecap is the latest subject in Tatiana Iliina's collection of abstract glacier paintings. This is also only the second glacier painting to be done in the 48 x 48 size.

The original discoverer of the ice cap, the Dutch explorer Jan Carstensz, was ridiculed in Europe for having claimed to have seen snow in the tropics. But the icecap on Puncak Jaya has existed for centuries.

Now, if current melting trends continue, it will be gone in five years. In fact, there is a race against time going on right now on Puncak Jaya as scientists hope to salvage irreplaceable data contained in the ice..

This summer, an expedition led by glaciologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University and oceanographer Dwi Susanto of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, completed the complex job of bringing core samples from the disappearing glaciers back to the U.S. for further study.

These core samples will reveal invaluable information concerning the Earth's atmosphere and other data going back hundreds or thousands of years.

The glaciologists' helicopter picking up core samples near the peak of  Puncak Jaya.