- In Greenland: Calving Glaciers, get a massive collection of icy thunder. Hear resonant rumbles in the distance and massive booms as falling ice dynamites the water. Hear gunshot-like cracks and chunky avalanches falling down glacial tongues. Hear an event I can only describe as biblical...when a piece of ice the size of a football stadium calved off the Knud Glacier.
- This library offers you the sounds of a natural wonder only heard in a few places on earth. Glaciers are like slow motion thunderstorms and you can't help but be awed if you get to witness their natural power in person. I hope you enjoy these recordings too. Thanks for listening.
- Demo Notes: 0:00 to 2:30 is a montage of sounds from the library. 2:30 to 5:51 is one continuous clip of a football stadium sized iceberg calving off the Knud Glacier. Massive rumbles first at 2:30, then the calving tidal waves arrive 1 minute later at 3:30.
- Thunderous glacier calving events
- Feel the heartbeat of the glacier with contact mics: LOM Geofone pair + Sennheiser MKH8020 pair in parallel
- Massive booms
- Echoing gunshot-like cracks
- Reverberant rumbles
- Falling ice with explosive impacts
- Sub-bass thumps and pulses
- Close and distant perspectives
- Small, Large, Massive, and Biblical sizes
- Three glaciers: Karaale Glacier, Knud Rasmussen Glacier, and an Unnamed Glacier
- Icebergs breaking, cracking, and rolling
- Crackling calving waves that arrive 1-5 minutes after the event
- 156 – 0 to 30 second clips
- 269 – 30 to 60 second clips
- 257 – 1 -3 minute ambiences
- 36 – 3 to 30 minute ambiences
- 718 – total recordings
- In order to capture these rare events, I had 5-8 drop rigs running 24 hours a day for 14 days (see my gear list below). The longest sessions I did ran continuously for 5 days.
- Sometimes nothing happened for 12 hours, sometimes there was a flurry of activity over a 1 hour timespan. On average, one event would happen every few hours.
- Calving is not predictable, and only the glacier knows when it will move. However, weather and tides do have an effect. Low tide in particular causes the floating tongue of the glacier to lose its support and calving therefore increases.
- Each glacier also has its own sonic personality. Karaale was about 2 km wide and the face was 10-20 meters tall. Knud was only 1.5 km wide and was taller at about 30 meters. The width and height of the mountainous fjord also makes a large difference on the calving sounds. So, the acoustics are different for each glacier. Karaale had more long roaring events as huge pieces broke loose and rolled. Knud had more thunderous gunshot-like cracks as pieces broke from the top and fell to dynamite the water below.
- Speaking of dynamite, seabirds sometimes swarmed to the water in front of the glacier after calving events. For a while I couldn't figure out why they behaved this way. Then it dawned on me, if a big chunk fell from up high and smacked the water it would stun the fish. The glacier was dynamiting the fish and the seabirds had learned to listen! Gulls only responded to large booming events that they had learned would stun the fish. They didn't flock to smaller avalanches that slushed off the face. It was a fascinating feeding behavior to witness in person.
- I was lucky to witness one event I can only call "biblical". I was camped on the edge of the fjord next to the Knud Glacier. I was in my tent, almost asleep when I heard a deep rumble. I'd heard these many times before on the trip, but I felt this one in my bones and it wasn't tailing off, it was continuing to build. I quickly ripped open the tent and saw piece of ice the size of a football stadium break off the glacier. It boomed and roared with an incredible power. The calving event thundered continuously for 5 minutes! Then the fjord crackled and popped for the following 4 hours as all the icy debris broke and released bubbles. It was an awe inspiring and bittersweet moment that I will never forget.
- Calving is a natural behavior of glaciers as gravity pulls the ice downhill. However, the rate of calving is increasing with climate change. All of the glaciers I recorded in Greenland are currently retreating an unprecedented rate and could potentially disappear by the end of this century. I hope these sounds help you to love these living rivers of ice. The more people who develop a visceral connection to the beautiful sounds of glaciers, the more likely we are to slow their retreat. Thanks for listening.
- View larger version or Download CSV.
- A spectrogram is included for each audio file. Double click on the photo in the file list to enlarge.
|Stereo Specs: 24.7 GB – 48 kHz or 96 kHz / 24-bit – 718 stereo WAV files – Approx. 14.6 hours total
|Quad Specs: 19.5 GB – 96 kHz / 24-bit – 271 Quad WAV files – Approx. 4.6 hours total
|Stereo + Quad Specs: 44.2 GB – 14.6 hours total
Metadata: Universal Category System, CSV, Soundminer, BWAV
Categories: ICECrsh, Glacier, Iceberg, Calving
Location: East Greenland – July 2022
|Mastering: read my Field Recording Mastering Rules for more info.
|Delivery: Instant - blazingly-fast - digital download
|License type: Single user, royalty-free - for a multi-user license, click here
|Sound Library Guarantee: If you're unhappy with my field recordings in any way, I'll give you store credit equal to the cost of the sound library. Read the full details – here.
- Please note: Due to a variety of weather related factors I was not able to do data backup as often as planned and ran low on large 256 GB SD cards. So, for a few sessions I chose to record for longer durations at 48 kHz in order to capture more rare calving events. All other sessions were recorded at 96 kHz.
- Sennheiser MKH8040 pair and MKH30
- Sennheiser MKH8020 pair
- LOM Geofone pair
- LOM Usi and LOM Usi Pro
- Micbooster Clippy
- Sound Devices MixPre-3 II
- Zoom F6 and F3
- Sony A10
- Cinela Pianissimo DMS Blimp
- Cinela LEO20 and LEO25 Blimps
- Bubblebee Wind Bubbles