Sudden Stream, Malaspina Coastal Plain

Sudden Stream, Malaspina Coastal Plain

by | Apr 3, 2021

Sudden Stream starts at the outlet of Malaspina Lake at the terminus of the Malaspina Glacier and flows south for 2 miles (3.2 km) to Yakutat Bay, about 207 miles (333 km) east-southeast of Cordova and 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Yakutat, Alaska. The name was first published by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1951. Sudden Stream flows through the coastal plain formed by the receding Malaspina Glacier.

Malaspina Glacier is about 30 miles (48 km) across and starts in the Saint Elias Mountains, 8 miles (13 km) south of the Alaska-Canada boundary, and flows for 28 miles (45 km) to the Gulf of Alaska, about 38 miles (61 km) northwest of Yakutat. The glacier was originally named the Malaspina Plateau in 1874 by William Healey Dall, who at the time did not recognize its true character because of a thick cover of sediment. Dall named the feature for Captain Don Alejandro Malaspina, an Italian navigator and explorer in the service of Spain, who explored the Pacific Northwest coast in 1791. A closer approach to the glacier was made in 1880 and it was then recognized as a massive piedmont glacier and the name was changed to Malaspina Glacier.

A unique denizen of the Malaspina Forelands is the Malaspina Bears, a distinct population of brown bears that forages the beaches, forests, and lake country still emerging from the ice age. Read more here and here. Explore more of Sudden Stream here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (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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