Sperry Glacier

Montana USA

Sperry Glacier is located in Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. This glacier is situated on the north slopes of Gunsight Mountain, west of the Continental Divide. Although many geologic features of Glacier National Park were formed during the much longer period of glaciation ending over 10,000 years ago, Sperry Glacier — like all the glaciers in the park today — is a product of the recent Little Ice Age, the period of cooler average temperatures starting in about the 13th century and concluding in the mid-19th century. Once one of the largest glaciers in the park, the surface area of Sperry Glacier has retreated 75 percent since the mid-19th century. 2005 measurements of the surface area of the glacier resulted in an estimated area of , whereby the glacier is estimated to have covered an area of at the end of the Little Ice Age in the mid-19th century. The glacier lost almost 35 percent of its surface area between 1966 and 2005. The glacier is named for Lyman B. Sperry, a professor from Oberlin College, who in 1895 participated in an expedition to explore the geography and map the region where the glacier is located. Like all other glaciers in the park, Sperry has significantly retreated, though it leaves many minor glacial features, including large moraines and streams and lakes colored a milky aqua from glacial flour. Unlike the more famous Grinnell Glacier, Sperry Glacier is high above the lakes it feeds, so no icebergs form.

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