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Harriman Expedition Retraced

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Virtual Tour of
Prince William Sound


Take a virtual tour of Harriman Fjord and see Harriman Glacier, named by the original 1899 explorers, where you will be introduced to Prince William Sound and its environment as it was in 1899, and as it exists today with narrative and photographs.

Virtual Tour of Prince William Sound

 

Prince William Sound

"From the air, Prince William Sound is shaped like a giant octopus, an open irregular body of water fringed with tentacles that reach far into the surrounding mountains. This part of Alaska is the most seismically active region in North America, and the terrain has been shaped through the centuries by earthquakes and volcanoes. Glaciers -- accumulations of ice, air, water and rock debris -- slowly advance and retreat across the landscape, leaving U-shaped valleys in their wake. Navigation is tricky in the Sound, particularly in the fiords shaped by recent glacial retreat. The 1899 Harriman Expedition was lucky to have made its way through the narrow channel that opened up to reveal the fiord we now call "Harriman." The fiords are hemmed in by cliffs, but occasionally a beach appears: a rocky field of shale that might rise to a meadow of wet, spongy soil.

Prince William Sound was the site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Since that time, scientists have studied the effect this spill has had on marine species, including harbor seals, porpoises and sea otters, that live in these waters."



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For information on the Harriman Retraced Expedition e-mail: harriman2001@science.smith.edu

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