September 05, 2001
The above photo shows a classic 'U' shaped glacial valley. It was taken in late June near Tarn Inlet in Glacier Bay, Alaska. The valley is on the east side of the inlet - the photographer is looking north. Over thousands of years, the weight and grinding action of huge rivers of ice helped to gouge and carve the valley. When the mass of ice and snow finally melts, what was previously a 'V' shaped valley takes on a more rounded or 'U' shaped appearance.