Honeymoon Day 8: Greymouth to Fox

Today we leave Greymouth, under dark skies. It turns out that from the afternoon after we left rain began and dumped 300mm of water totally sealing off Greymouth. Our next destination are the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. The road to the glaciers was wet with very low hanging clouds. Soon we arrived at Franz Josepth Information Centre and were told that the road to Fox Glacier was completely closed and Franz Josef walking track was closed a lot of the way. You couldn’t get within 200m of the glacier. Oh well, with raincoats on we decided to have a walk. This is the glacier base. This view gives a poor perspective of how large the actual glacier is. The tiny opening at the front of it is much higher than a person. Its quite daunting just how large it is, Maegan has a wonderful shot with a person in that gives it scale. (1ds, 17-40, f8, 1/8, 3 shot stitch).

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Glaciers are essentially ice rivers. In some areas ice sheets, through a combined force of expansion, erosion and gravity are forced down the sides of mountains. Franz Josef is 12km long and begins in the area around Mt Cook. Franz Josef is abnormal for a couple of reasons including that its one of 3 glaciers so close to the coast (Fox being another), it moves at a rate approximately 10 times that of a typical glacier (approx 70cm a day) and unlike the majority of the worlds glaciers it is currently undergrowing growth rather than retreating. Glaciers account for 11% of the earths surface, but contain three quarters of the worlds fresh water. Greenland and Antartica contain the vast majority of the worlds glaciers.

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Ps. The colours are quite accurate. Eery blue glow. I think the low lying clouds dispersing light help to add to this.

This last photo is of Maegan and myself in our coats in front of the glacier. (1ds, 17-40, f8, 1/8)

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~ by adamrose on June 13, 2009.

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