New Zealand’s glacier tourism industry may be under threat due to glacial retreat.
Heather Purdie, a Canterbury University geography lecturer, has been studying the Fox Glacier since 2005, monitoring it’s retreat and focussing on physical changes.
She has also been analysing how these changes may affect tourist safety and access.
Rockfall hazards and steepening ice slopes are causing challenges for guided tours at both Fox and Franz Josef glaciers.
A digital model of the glaciers is being constructed so alternative routes can be tested for the tours.
Glaciers regularly grow and retreat about every decade, but climate change is reducing the amount of growth so that reduction is causing a lot more challenges.
Article written by D Mulhern