Victoria Glacier

General Characteristics:
Victoria glacier (figure 1) lies at the head of Lake Louis and is one of the most widely photographed glaciers. Lake Louise is dammed by an early Holocene moraine formed by Victoria glacier; it probably formed during the Eisenhowever Junction glaciation, some 10000B.P (Kucera, 1976). Continuous ice stream flows northward from Abbot Pass for approximatey 2km before turning sharply to northeast where it degenerates into indistinct debris covered tongue after another 2km (Ommanney, 2002). The Abbot Pass Basin contains less than 20% of the accumulation area (Ommanney, 2002). The rest (1.8km2) of the glacier stretches from Popes Peak past Mount Victoria toward Abbot Pass and avalanches 300m or more to form a reconstituted ice mass where the Abbot Pass changes direction (Ommanney, 2002).
Victoria Glacier was first observed in 1897. The surveys continued every year until 1950, then biannually until 1954.

The following figures depict the location of Victoria glacier and the debris covered toe in 1973. The table shows the annual surface movement between 1899-1954.

Victoria Glacier - Canadian Glacier Inventory Project
Figure 1: Location of Victoria Glacier ( NRC, 2007)

Victoria Glacier - Canadian Glacier Inventory Project
Figure 2: Victoria Glacier in August 1973 ( Ommanney, 2002)

Table 1: Average Annual Surface Movement of Victoria Glacier

Average Annual Surface Movement (ma-1)

1899-1900 44.8
1899-1905 34.4
1906-1918 31.7
1945-1946 20.7
1946-1947 39.6
1947-1948 23.8
1948-1949 32
1949-1950 25.6
1950-1952 25.3
1952-1954 31.4
(Ommmanney, 2002)

Name: Victoria Glacier
Location:Banff National Park,
Latitude: 51" 23.0'
Longitude: 116"16.0'
Province: Alberta
Classification: valley glacier
Area: 3.5km2
Debris Cover: 24%
(Ommanney, 2002: 27)

Victoria Glacier Progression