Tunsbergdalsbreen Glacier

Aerial 3D image of Tunsbergdalsbreen (in the centre of the image) and the surrounding area. The glacier drains from Jostedalsbreen Ice Cap. Credits: www.norgei3d.no.

The glacier Tunsbergdalsbreen in the municipality of Luster (Sogn og Fjordane county) is 18 km long and 1-2 km wide and hence the largest outlet of the Jostedalsbreen ice cap, Jostedalsbreen being the largest glacier on the European continent. At the same time Tunsbergdalsbreen is one of the most remote glaciers of the area.

The panorama view of Tunsbergdalsbreen seen from Røykjedalsbandet Ridge. Photo: Morgan Gibson 2011.

The central parts of Tunsbergdalsbreen are located between 900 and 1200 m a.s.l. . This mid section has got a reletiveley smooth surface, is about 6 km long and several hundret metres thick. The gradient is about 1:20. In this mid section, as displayed in the panoramic photo above, the glacier is over 500 metres thick.


During the expedition in 2012, staff from the Glacier Museum made a day trip to the glacier to visit the expedition members. While crossing the Tunsbergdalsvatnet Lake by boat, several photos were taken. When comparing new shots with old photos from the early 1900s we discovered interesting visual evidences of the glacier retreat. See the photos below for comparison of 1903 and 2012. In this period of time the glacier retreated 2 kilometres. Just since 1989, based on examination of Tunsbergdalsbreen in Landsat imagery by Mauri S. Pelto, the glacier retreat has been roughly 700 metres.

1903. Photo: John Bernhard Rekstad/NGU.                        2012. Photo: Pål Gran Kielland.