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'Classic' Glaciation - Tasman Glacier

'Classic' Glaciation - Tasman Glacier
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-01
Categories: Mountain
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Earth from Above, Beautiful Landscapes [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-02-05 9:22
Viewed: 6586
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This shot was taken on the same flight as the glacial braiding shot - slightly later on. This is a view looking up the Tasman Glacier and shows several interesting features.

First the meltwater lagoon (Lake Tasman) in front of the glacier - you can see how cloudy it is from the glacial flour mentioned in the previous posting. Floating in the lagoon are some icebergs, the ice is black from the amount of material which has fallen onto the glacier.

Behind the lagoon is the glacier itself - but it is black I hear you say - this is because the glacier is wasting at this point and from the amount of frost-shattered material which has fallen onto it from the surrounding peaks.

On either side of the glacier are:- lateral moraines - these are hardly ever seen so well developed - they collapse very quickly after the glacier retreats. However, some of this material is Kame terrace, deposited by streams running alongside the glacier. The way you can tell the two apart is by digging into them - the moaraine is unsorted material, whilst the kame is sorted into different size particles by the stream.

In the middle of the shot is a mountain which has been modified by ice coming from both valleys - the frost shattering on the rock above the level of the glacier has resulted in a sharp ridge or Arete.

On the right the glacier has retreated much more quickly leaving a flat bottom - a classic glacial 'U' shaped valley, rather than the 'V' of a river.

The Tasman Glacier is the largest of several glaciers which flow south and east towards the Mackenzie Basin from the Southern Alps in New Zealand's South Island. It is 29 kilometres long and as much as 4 kilometres wide, and is entirely within the borders of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. The depth at its most is 600 meters.

The Tasman flows south from the southern slopes of the Minarets peak, along the eastern flank of Aoraki/Mount Cook, the peak of which is only five km from the glacier. It is almost met partway along its length by the meltwater of the Murchison Glacier, which approaches from the northeast before turning to flow beside the Tasman Glacier outside the moraine wall.

The waters from both these glaciers pool at the end of the glacier in Lake Tasman, before flowing south to join the outflow from the nearby Hooker and Mueller Glaciers in the wide valley of the Tasman River, whose braided streams flow south into Lake Pukaki. They eventually flow into the Waitaki River and to the Pacific Ocean north of Oamaru.

Arjun, jaycee, rousettus, elizabeth, nglen, eqshannon, JPlumb, Heaven, horia, boreocypriensis, SelenE, haraprasan, marhowie, NinaM, SunToucher, pablominto has marked this note useful
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To horia: FlyingJamesp 1 02-06 00:59
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2008-02-05 9:36]

hi james,
I was seeing the same program about Tasman glacier in a TV channel..really New Zealand is an enchanting place.It is a heaven for photographers,
A very nicely captured landscape..
I am amazed by seeing your profile of photos of visited countries.You have almost travelled around the world..Congrats.
This is a lovely picture,

Hello James,
"Global warming" and glaciation important subject for ecology and biogeography. We can see glaciation in high mountains in Turkiye. Your perfect capture looks like from our Kaškar Mts (Eastern Black Sea Mts). Scene similar, but this if from New Zealand, not from here:) Your shot amazing beauty. It is great as both scientific documents and photographic arts. Your notes always great and informative. Thanks for sahring. well done my friend

Hi James,
This is a wonderful dynamic landscape composition!
The view has much depth. Fine work!

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2008-02-05 11:05]

Wonderful picture, fantastic photo work and beautiful view.

Hello James,
south island is always paradise to me!
Awesome view well captured from above with good sharpness, natural colour and details in the shot
well done, James also the most informative notes

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-02-05 13:16]

Hi James. Its like taking a trip on holiday by just looking at your pictures each day. the views in this picture are beautiful. you have captured such detail from behind the glass . natural looking colours. thanks so much for shareing you trip with us.

Hi James,
You are every where. I wish I were you. Great photos from a lot of countries. This is also great. TFS, Regards, Mustafa

Hello James,
splendid landscape indeed very well captured with a splendid point of view, colours are just great and lovely composition,

Heck of a geology shot...This looks like something from a geology book from a different world:-) Your notes will and at least can...help another growing generation...sometimes I wonder if we perhaps are not getting close to being the last generation...too many people..too much interference with nature...added to global warming etc..I think some of us are still here as witness! It's a long story...but I know that is what I am doing..

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2008-02-05 16:03]

Hello James,
Is there any place that you have not been?
Fantastic the variety of pictures that you present us
And this one here is example, what a wonderful capture
and presentation.. Thanks so much for sharing your memories
.. Welld done


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-02-05 17:57]

Hello James,
Fabulous shot, fabulous perspective and your great note explains it all to me superbly, thanks James.

  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2008-02-05 19:53]

Beautiful shot James. This one belongs in a text book on the subject. I remember when I studied Alpine Glaciers we had diagrams and drawn pictures, nothing as great as this. The drawn pictures we had I remember showed moraines and debris was shown, but for some reason I still came away thinking of it as a "white" scene. This shot really brings it all home. Very nicely done.

Thanks, John

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-02-05 21:36]

Hi James!

Your picture in combination with the very rich in content and detailed notes make this posting very interesting. The quite classic picture shows interesting geological formations and is of surprising quality although taken from a palne.

Kind regards


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-02-06 0:24]
  • [+]

Hi James

You really do fly a lot, don't you? :) Or are you also a pilot yourself, too :)
Anyway, this is another terrific shot, one beautiful but also educational!
The colors here really are missleading, but thanks to your ever useful note, the problem was cleared right off :)
Excellent perspective and exposure with also very beautiful colors.

Bravo and TFS

Wowww what a wonderful capture James! Perfect! Perspective fabulous! Well done freind! TFS.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-02-06 2:20]

Wow what a shot James!
I don't know how you get your photos from a plane to be so sharp and crisp... all the times I have tried to do so I have failed! Especially going over to Bulgaria earlier in the year... Monarch airlines do not clean their windows very well!! :-)

Superb composition using the ridge as a lead-in line.
Excellent lighting and great colours.
Well done James.

Hi James,
A beautiful landscape showing the glacier. Excellent composition and very good depth. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Outstanding aerial view James.
Crisp and clear, well composed. I enjoyed reading your notes..
I've now been officially indoctrinated into the world of glacial terminology :)
Very well done,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-02-06 7:25]

Hi James,

An exceptionally beautiful scene. Your notes are wonderful and it was good having the explanations of what I was seeing. Excellent composition, wonderful colors and amazing details.


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-02-07 1:17]

Hi James,
Your POV is breathtaking... Landscape is charming and you captured all its beauty with a very good composition, DOF, and exposure handling. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-02-07 2:51]

Hi James,
another great aerial shot James, i love the different effects we can see from glaciation in just this one area. Technically well done, sharp throughout and well exposed too, i see you didn't use any filters? Not even a UV??

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-02-07 13:53]

A breathtaking landscape, James. Not only do you go to wonderful places but you sure manage to make fantastic pictures of those places. The foreground in this one is perfect and directs the eyes to the background, in the magnificent mountains. Impressive and instructive notes as well, thank you!


Hi James,
You expect to see ice in a more white color, but this clear shows that there is a lot of sediment traped inside the ice. The super sharp edges of both the rock and water line are simply amazing. It is a wonderful bridseye view upto the glacier with an extreem high clarity.

Hello James,
A fine scenery from the lesser seen South Island!
A fine composition with impressive details, and the landscape comes out very well in the fine light...
I like the lines in the composition, as created by the ice up through millions of years!
Pablo -

great landscape, TFS Ori

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