Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/13

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3
THE GLACIERS OF GREENLAND.

ment of some eight hundred to a thousand feet in one or more of the Swiss glaciers conjured up visions of vast possibilities in the Greenland giants, yet nowhere could I satisfy myself that even that thickness which was measured in the Alps was to be found here. Perhaps in the far interior the ice may have that thickness and more, but on the tongue sheets and in their terminal walls we found no indications of it. Two or three hundred feet the ice certainly has, but how much more, if anything, I could not determine. Yet the majestic bergs which, flotilla-like, sail out from these slow-moving rivers of ice, and scatter themselves in hundreds and thousands over the blue mirror of the sea, rise in themselves full two hundred feet out of the water, and perhaps not less than seven or eight hundred feet of subaqueous anchorage gives to them that wonderful aspect of immobility which all who have seen it so much admire. Is the exact relation of the fallen berg to its parent still to be determined? Seemingly so, for it is certain that in perhaps by far the greater number of oases the height of the berg bears no distinct relation to the thickness

PSM V46 D013 Surface of verhoeff glacier.jpg

Surface of Verhoeff Glacier.

of the glacier of which it at one time formed a part. With my own eyes I saw but few bergs fall or being made, and these were all of insignificant dimensions. Like many of their larger sisters which undergo disruption, they lashed and foamed in the disturbed waters, rising serenely to no definite relation with the parent mass from which they parted.

The older accounts of travelers have invested the Greenland ice with a wicked sublimity particularly its own, which may be