Barry Glacier, Harriman Fjord

Barry Glacier, Harriman Fjord

by | Aug 25, 2022

Barry Glacier flows southwest for 16 miles (25 km) to Barry Arm of Harriman Fjord in northwestern Prince William Sound, about 33 miles (53 km) northeast of Whittier and 58 miles (93 km) east of Anchorage, Alaska. Barry Arm is a fjord that extends south for 10 miles (16 km) from the terminus of Barry Glacier to Point Pakenham at Port Wells. The glacier and fjord were named for Colonel Thomas Henry Barry, a U.S. Army Major General at the time, by Captain Edwin F. Glenn of the U.S. Army, the leader of an 1898 U.S. Army expedition to find an Alaska route to the Klondike gold fields.

The glaciers at the head of Barry Arm were mapped with varying degrees of accuracy by several expeditions including Vancouver in 1794 and again in 1798, Applegate in 1887, Glenn in 1898, and the Harriman Alaska Expedition in 1899. When Barry Arm was mapped at the end of the 19th century, the Cascade Glacier, Barry Glacier, and Coxe Glaciers were connected and filled the fjord. Applegate’s 1887 sketch map shows a glacier filling the entire width of Barry Arm at a location about 6 miles (10 km) north of Pakenham Point.

In 1899, the Harriman Alaska Expedition arrived in Barry Arm on the SS Elder. When the ship reached a location just south of the point now known as Point Doran, which juts into Barry Arm from the southwest, the local pilot felt it was no longer safe to pass and returned control of the ship to Captain Peter Doran. But Harriman ordered the captain to take the ship through a narrow water passage between the icewall and the headland. The passage was dangerously narrow and threatening but gradually opened into a magnificent icy fjord about 12 miles (19 km) long. The result was the discovery of what would be named Harriman Fjord, an inlet previously unknown to possibly all but Indigenous seal hunters. Read more here and here. Explore more of Barry Glacier here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2022 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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