Photo Friday: Jostedal Glacier—Europe’s Largest Glacier

Spanning a total area of 193 square miles, Jostedal Glacier is mainland Europe’s largest glacier. Jostedal Glacier is located atop a plateau in western Norway and features several glacial arms, or valley glaciers. Some of the valley glaciers are named Nigardsbreen, Austerdalsbreen, and Briksdalsbreen. All are notable, Norwegian ecotourist destinations.

Jostedal’s highest peak, referred to as Lodalskåpa, has an elevation of 1.3 miles. Wildlife around Jostedal Glacier includes eagles, red deer, lynx, and wolverines.

This week’s Photo Friday highlights Jostedal Glacier’s scenic landscape and sublime beauty.

Jostedal Glacier, Norway (Source: A.Rueland, Flickr)
Jostedal Glacier, Norway (Source: stephan zurbuchen, Flickr)
Jostedal Glacier, Norway (Source: Felix Richard, Flickr)
Jostedal Glacier, Norway (Source: Christian Nesset, Flickr)
Jostedalsbreen National Park, Norway (Source: John6536, Flickr)

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Photo Friday: Jostedalsbreen Glacier

Jostedalsbreen Glacier, the largest glacier in northern Europe, is located within Jostedalsbreen National Park which was founded in 1991 in Norway. The Jostedalsbreen Glacier is so large that it alone covers over a third of the park and separates two of the longest fjords in the world. It is fitting that Norway has such an imposing glacier since the most iconic Norwegian characteristics—fjords and valleys—owe their creation to past glacial movements.

Scientists have flocked to this glacier for centuries to study its retreat since the Little Ice Age, particularly with an interest in studying post-glacial vegetation and landscape. As climate change accelerates glacial retreat across the world, a degree of urgency is added to the quest to learn from Jostedalsbreen Glacier’s retreat. Sometimes, the past can help us prepare for the future.


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