Glacier lake

Bearded Seal
Bearded Seal

I guess everybody knows the Icelandic glacier lake. Nice icebergs on black lava. A place I would really like to visit. On Spitsbergen we have our own glacier lake. In front of Rechergebreen there is a laguna, which is often filled with small or big icebergs. No lava beach of course, but there are some other bonuses. The beach in front is often full of Polar Bear tracks, fresh and old. And on the ice there are seals regularly, like this Bearded Seal.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


  • So great to see such arctic species. I was lucky to visit some of those Iceland glaciers earlier this year…. But there is much concern over the rate that they are melting. Have you seen the documentary ‘Chasing Ice’ ? Is Spitzbergen’s ice-scape also showing radical signs of retreating?


    • Yeah, nearly all glaciers on Spitsbergen are retreating. We see islands or rocks appear from underneath the glaciers regularly. However, it’s a bit hard to connect this to human induced climate change. I have no doubt this does play a role, but old moraines show a retreat that started way before humans had a big effect on climate.
      The sea ice however is also melting rapidly (even though this year we had quite a lot). Last year ships had to sail way above 82 degrees North in order to find any pack ice. If this melt is going to continue, a whole marine ecosystem might disappear…
      And yes, I’ve seen Chasing Ice. A well made documentary.

      Thanks for visiting my page and commenting.


      • Thanks for the informative feedback, Arjen. I follow the climate change debate with much interest. Have a friend working at IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research). Their scope is ocean response to accelerating global change, and scientific endeavour in that research field. There is such a complexity of detail.
        Your photography is pretty compelling, being there right on the spot so to speak….documenting species and a changing environment. Fascinating!


      • Thans for the reaction. That is indeed the role I see for me as a photographer. As I have to opportunity to come back to these places (as an expedition guide) year after year, I want to bring home what I see there. Most people don’t have the possibility to visit those places and I think it’s important that people see what is happening in those places (both good and bad things). If one doesn’t know what an area looks like, one is also less likely to support its conservation.
        So as long as I have the possibility I will keep on documenting and showing how the Arctic is changing and how the animals cope with that.

        Regards, Arjen


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