Richard Harwood

Chile - 2001

Garibaldi Fjord and Glacier

Garibaldi Glacier

The morning of November 15th was spent in the Beagle Channel and visiting Pia Glacier. The afternoon was spent at Garibaldi Glacier. The Garibaldi Fjord, while similar to the Pia Fjord, presented some different aspects than those seen at Pia. The sides of the valley are covered in a temperate rainforest. A short excursion to land allowed us to hike a short distance into this dense vegetation and gave us a close look a the shoreline.

Numerous side glaciers also enter the fjord with the Garibaldi Glacier at the head of the valley. Some of these smaller glaciers and the Garibaldi glacier are calving into the ocean, similar to Pia Glacier, producing a number of small ice bergs.

The glacier itself also showed a feature not seen in the Pia Glacier - a medial moraine exposed in the glacier toe. Moraines are erosional debris (sand, gravel and rock) that are carried along by the glacier. They form along the sides and bottom of the glacier as the ice flows down the valley. The moraines along either side of the glacier are termed lateral moraines. A moraine found in the middle of a glacier, a medial moraine, forms when two separate glaciers merge together. The two lateral moraines also merge together between the two ice masses and become a medial moraine.