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June 23, 2011

Retreat of Columbia Glacier, Columbia Icefield, Canada

The Columbia Glacier drains west from Columbia Icefield into Alberta. The glacier in 1964 was 8.5 km long, by 1980 9.5 km long and in 2009 6.5 km long. The glacier drops rapidly from the plateau area over a major ice fall, which created a series of ogives, as seen in this 1964 Austin Post (USGS) photograph. Ogives are annual wave bulges that form at the base of an icefall …