This Huge Ice Cavern Has An Ancient Forest Underneath


Mendenhall Glacier is one of the most picturesque places that is situated in Southeast Alaska. It is whoppingly 13.6 miles long. There are number of ice caves that can be located in this Glacier. Also, an ancient forest was revealed beneath the glacier in the last decade due to rapidly melting ice.

Basically, a glacier is a very large amount of snow piled up together and then turned into ice. Sadly, the global warming is causing glacier around the globe to melt in a speed that has never seen before, and Mendenhall Glacier is a victim too. Mendenhall Glacier has shrunk 1.75 miles since 1929 and will continue to do so unless there is a proper solution implemented for the global warming.

As the glacier is continuously retreating, remains of an ancient forest have been revealed underneath the glacier. Well preserved stumps and trunks can be now seen clearly after more than 2000 years.

Some of those trees still have their roots intact to the ground. The preservation is that good! Some of those still have the bark with them. It is quite possible to determine the age of those trees because most of them are in a growth position. The research team that worked on these trees are calling them as spruce or hemlock based on their diameter of the trunk and the trees growing in the region present day.

The Earth has passed different ice ages since its beginning. In those ice ages, glaciers have grown, advanced, and also shrunken and retreated. During those different periods, they send out liquefied ice streams that push aprons of gravel beyond the edge of glaciers.  A similar thing happened with this uncovered ancient forest; it was sealed in what can be called Tomb of Gravel.

This melting of ice is something that we should be highly concerned about. But at the same time, we can also spend our time to learn about the climate of the old ages thanks to these kinds of events.


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