Sudden Stream, Malaspina Coastal Plain

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Sudden Stream, Malaspina Coastal Plain

by | May 18, 2018

Sudden Stream starts at the outlet to Malaspina Lake at the terminus of the Malaspina Glacier and flows south for 2 miles (3.2 km) to Yakutat Bay, about 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Blizhni Point, 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 trends south 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 W.H. 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 Alessandro 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. Learn more about the glacier here, and about the Malaspina Bears here. Explore more of Sudden Stream and the Malaspina Coastal Plain here:

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