; the largest glacier
in North America
. The Malaspina Glacier
originates in the St. Elias Mountains
and spills out into a giant circlular piedmont
about 20 miles in diameter. The glacier
is located on the Gulf of Alaska
and the North end of Disenchantment Bay
, about 20 miles North of Yakutat
Named after an Italian explorer, the Malaspina is one of the few glaciers with large trees actually growing on the glacier itself (this is possible because of the presence of a rather large moraine on which soil is able to form over time). But like most glaciers in Alaska, the Malaspina is now receding, due perhaps in part to the role played by global climate change.
The M/V Malaspina, one of the ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway Fleet, was named after the Malaspina Glacier.