Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/23

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13
THE GLACIERS OF GREENLAND.

the ice, resplendent in the vigor of its own coloring, was a garden of grass, moss, and wild flowers — a veritable oasis in an ice wilderness. Fruitless would be the effort to depict the beauty of this scene, so wholly magical and weird did it present itself to the eye and mind. The long tufts of grass were twelve to sixteen inches in height, and all about were a wealth and profusion of flowers which would have done justice to the landscape of the full tropics.

Thus, in its quiet mood, does the Greenland glacier reveal itself in a form wholly different from that which the imagination paints it — so different, in fact, that one is tempted to ask. Does it conform to the conditions of existence which have made glaciers

PSM V46 D023 Detached fragments of greenland glacier.jpg

Detached Fragments of Greenland Glacier. The Watch-Tower Berg.

elsewhere? It unmistakably does, and these conditions have shaped all the forms of glacier, from the tiniest to the largest, from the quietest to the most wicked, to which the region has given birth. Probably all the forms of glaciers that exist in the world are represented in Greenland, and none are found there which might be said to embody a type of structure that is unknown elsewhere. Such as they are, they are but the remains of far more extensive ice sheets which, at no very distant period back in time, plowed far into the ocean deep, shaped much of the contours of the existing land surface, and perhaps even carved a relief of mountain and valley. The traces of past glaciation are everywhere apparent on the barren or uncovered shores, and troughs or water channels, thousands of feet in depth, bight deep into the