Gorner Glacier

Gorner Glacier

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Gorner Glacier

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The Gorner Glacier () is a valley glacier found on the west side of the Monte Rosa Massif close to Zermatt in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. It is about 14 km long and 1 to 1.5 km wide. The entire glacial area of the glacier related to Gorner Glacier is 57 km¬≤ (1999), which makes it the second largest glacial system in the Alps after the Aletsch Glacier system. Numerous smaller glaciers connect with the Gorner Glacier. Its tribunaries are (clockwise on this map ): Gornergletscher (after which the whole system is named), Grenzgletscher, Zwillingsgletscher, Schw√§rzegletscher, Breithorngletscher and Theodulgletscher (although this one is actually disconnected now); also Monte Rosa Glacier used to be connected. The main tributary is the Grenzgletscher.

An interesting feature of this glacier is the Gornersee, an ice marginal lake at the confluence area of the Gorner- and Grenzgletscher. This lake fills every year and drains in summer, usually as a Glacial lake outburst flood. This is one of few glacial lakes in the Alps exhibiting this kind of behaviour.

It is the source of the Gornera river which flows down through Zermatt itself. However most of its water gets captured by a water catchment station of the Grande Dixence hydroelectric power company. This water then ends up in the Lac des Dix, the main reservoir of Grande Dixence.

The glacier as well as the surrounding mountains can be seen from the Gornergrat (3,100 m), connected from Zermatt by a...
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