A visit to Fox Glacier shows that changes over the last 5 years are similar to those at the Franz Josef Glacier.

 Here is a view of the Fox Glacier front in 2009:

 And this year (March 2014):

The terminal face from another angle in 2009…

…and as it was recently in 2014. The grass covered hummock in the centre marks the previous limit of the ice.

There is a good view down onto the glacier from the moraine wall that can be accessed via a well made track. It is apparent that the glacier has not just got shorter, but the whole surface has lowered by tens of metres.

This view of the present terminus shows that unlike the Franz Josef glacier, the Fox can still be accessed by climbers and guided groups. However, the future outlook is similar to that of the Franz.

Update March 2015 – timelapse video of Fox Glacier terminus retreat through 2014 by Brian Anderson (Victoria University Wellington).
This amazing timelapse shows how the moraine walls of the glacier are affected when the buttressing effect of the ice is removed. Worth watching through a couple of times to catch the details:

Fox Glacier’s spectacular retreat from Brian Anderson on Vimeo.

Have a look here for information about visiting the Fox glacier, which is one of the locations on our GeoTrips website:  www.geotrips.org.nz/trip.html?id=244 

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