Jostedalsbreen is the biggest glacier in all of continental Europe. I tis located in Western Norway, in Sogn og Fjordane County. Jostedalsbreen is situated in the municipalities of Stryn, Jolster, Sogndal, and Luster. The tallest peak in the area is Lodalskapa, and it ascends to a height of nearly 7,000 feet.
Jostedalsbreen has an area of roughly 200 square miles. The tallest point is Hogste Breakulen at a height of roughly 6,400 feet above sea level. Some parts of the glacier go down into the valleys, like Boyabreen in Nigardsbreen and Fjaerland, both nearly 1,000 feet above sea level. The thickest area of the glacier is 2,000 feet. Jostedalsbreen has a length of over 37 miles, and it is part of Jostedalsbreen National Park, which was created in 1991. The glacier takes up more than half of the national park.
The glacier keeps its shape and form because of the high snowfall rates in the area, and not exactly the cold temperatures alone. This means that the glacier actually has high melting rates in the snouts. The Jostedalsbreen nearly 50 glacier arms like the Briksdalsbreen, Austerdalsbreen, Tindefjellbreen, and so on.
In 2006, one of the glacier arms (the Briksdalsbreen) lost nearly 160 feet of ice in just a couple of months. Some of the more recent measurements currently show that Briksdalsbreen retreated nearly 500 feet in 2006, and could be at risk of breaking apart from the upper icefield. There is now no more ice climbing allowed because of this event.
If you’ve never seen a gigantic glacier, you are really missing out – because it is one of the most interesting sights in all of nature. Since Norway has one of the largest glaciers that you can see easily and safely (in a national park), you should probably check it out if you’re visiting Norway.
In the future, hundreds of years from now, there might not be as many glaciers because of global warming. Consider yourself lucky to be able to see one of the biggest glaciers in Norway while you can now. Take lots of pictures because it’s a tremendous sight, and it will be an interesting picture to show around the office when you get back home. There are a lot of other sights to see in the national park as well, not just the glacier.
Jostedalsbreen Photo Gallery
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