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Alaska by Marvin W. Falk

By Marvin W. Falk

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It is about 1,500 miles long and is mostly submerged, forming the Aleutian Island chain. South of the Alaska Range are the Talkeetnas and the Wrangell Mountains (each covering an area of about 100 by 70 miles). Most of the Wrangells are covered with a large ice cap. The Kenai mountains cover much of the Kenai Peninsula and average between 2,000 and 4,000 feet above sea level. The Chugach mountains are to the east and north, averaging between 7,000 and 8,000 feet. To the south, the St. Elias chain (200 by 100 miles) runs along the coast through the Southeast region of Alaska.

There are volcanoes elsewhere too, such as on the Alaska Peninsula and in the Wrangell Mountains. One of the largest eruptions ever recorded was on the Alaska Peninsula in 1912. It spread ash up to 700 feet deep over an extensive area and created what is known as the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, now a national monument. Alaska has the world's third greatest concentration of glaciation, following the Antarctic and Greenland. Glaciers cover more than 15,000 square miles. One, the Malaspina Glacier, covers an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

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