Alaska the Beautiful
Updated: Aug 19, 2020
Alaska’s landscapes and geology are two of her most amazing features. As a matter of fact, the top three reasons people choose to visit Alaska are
to see her mountains, her wildlife, and her glaciers.
Seventeen of America’s twenty tallest points are located in Alaska. The tallest of those points at an amazing 20,320 ft above sea level is Denali. Denali is part of the 400 mile stretch of mountain range known as The Alaska Range. It is a narrow range of mountains that stretches from the Southwest part of Alaska into the Yukon part of Alaska. The mountain range is actually part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and the Denali Fault meaning that Alaska has quite a bit of seismic and volcanic activity.
There are over 100 volcanoes or volcanic fields in Alaska, but not to worry, there haven’t been more than two or three eruptions in the last one hundred years. However, there have been more than 150,000 earthquakes in the last five years, many of them registering higher than a 6.0 magnitude. But most of those occurred in remote, unpopulated regions.
Alaska is home to more than 3 million lakes and 3,000 rivers! All that water means that whether you enjoy a calm kayak around or white-water rafting, you’re sure to find something to do on the water there. Alaska’s manty lakes, rivers, creeks, and springs are very important to the forest ecosystems they help support. They are also important for their massive fishing operations that run out of Alaska. Make sure to see the Kenai Lake in Alaska where you will see the most gorgeous green-blue glacial water surrounded by beautiful mountains. Almost 14% of Alaska is covered by water. Not all that water is liquid though! Alaska is home to most of America’s glaciers. About 5% of Alaska is covered by her 100,000 glaciers. Glacier Bay has around 1,000 glaciers, but this number is ever changing as temperatures continue to warm. People visit glaciers by cruising by them, flying to them, and hiking them.
While most people know Alaska is famous for gold, what you may not know is her most transported mineral is actually zinc. And outside of her natural beauty as her biggest resource, we would be amiss to not mention that oil is one of her most precious resources as well. Prudhoe Bay is the largest oil field in North America. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline actually starts in Prudhoe Bay and stretches more than 800 miles to Valdez. More than 18 million barrels of oil have passed through those lines. And speaking of that pipeline – the engineering for that pipeline was quite ingenious. Some of the poles actually have refrigerator poles located on them to keep the ground frozen underneath during the summer months so that the pipeline doesn’t break from a sinking pole. And all the extra pipeline? There are some great stories of how the government had to purchase it twice after forcing a local to purchase a large amount of it.
I can’t wait to tell you more! Til next time!