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You are browsing the archive for alaska glacier retreat Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

6 July 2017

Pedersen Glacier, Alaska Rapid Retreat 1994-2015

Pedersen Glacier Kenia Peninsula, Alaska retreat from Landsat images in 1994 and 2016. The red arrow indicates 1994 terminus, yellow arrow is 2016 terminus, orange arrow indicates northern tributary and purple dots indicates snowline.  Pedersen Glacier is an outlet glacier of the Harding Icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park near Seward, Alaska. The glacier drops quickly from the plateau of the icefield through a pair of icefalls terminating in a …

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21 April 2017

Yakutat Glacier Terminus Collapse, 10 km retreat 1987-2016

Landsat images from 1987 and 2016 with terminus indicated by yellow dots. Point A indicates the 1987 terminus location and Point E the 2016 terminus location.  The Yakutat Glacier during the 1894-1895 Alaskan Boundary Survey ended near a terminal moraine on a flat coastal outwash plain. By 1906 the glacier had retreated from the moraine and a new lake was forming. Harlequin Lake. Surveys of the terminus of the glacier indicated …

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24 February 2017

Shoup Glacier, Alaska Retreat, Thinning, Velocity Decline

Shoup Glacier comparison in 1986 and 2016 Landsat images.  The glacier retreated 1900 m in this interval.  Red arrow is 1986 terminus, yellow arrow the 2016 terminus, green arrow rock rib emerging from beneath glacier, purple dots a landslide deposit, and purple arrow the snowline. Shoup Glacier is between the Columbia Glacier and Valdez draining from the Chugach Mountains in southern Alaska.  The glacier was a tidewater terminating glacier until …

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14 September 2016

Herbert Glacier Retreat, Alaska 1984-2016

Comparison of Herbert Glacier terminus position in Landsat images from 1984 and 2016. Red arrow 1984 terminus, yellow arrow 2016 terminus and pink arrow a tributary that has separated.  Herbert Glacier drains the west side of the 4000 square kilometer Juneau Icefield in Southeast Alaska.  It is the glacier just north of the more well known Mendenhall Glacier and just south of Eagle Glacier.  It is also the first glacier …

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4 July 2016

McBride Glacier Increased Retreat and Harbor Seals, Glacier Bay, Alaska

McBride Glacier (M), its secondary terminus (Ms), MCbride Inelt (MI) and Riggs Glacier (R) in Landsat image comparison from 1985 and 2015.  The red arrows indicate the 1985 terminus location and the yellow arrows the 2015 terminus location.  Main terminus 4.4 km retreat, secondary terminus 2.7 km retreat. McBride Glacier was part of the Muir Glacier complex in Glacier Bay, Alaska, until the 1960’s when it separated from Muir and adjacent …

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14 June 2016

Harris Glacier Retreat, Kenai Fjords, Alaska

Landsat images of Harris Glacier from 1986 and 2015.  The red arrow indicates 1986 terminus location, yellow arrow the 2015 terminus position.  The orange arrow indicates a key eastern tributary and the pink arrow a smaller eastern tributary.  Harris Glacier flows from the northwest corner of the Harding Icefield, Alaska and it drains into Skilak Lake.  The glaciers that drain east toward are in the Kenai Fjords National Park, which has a monitoring program.  Giffen et …

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27 May 2016

Eagle Glacier, Alaska Retreat Losing a Wing

Above is a paired Landsat image from 1984 left and 2013 right indicating the 1100 m retreat during this period of Eagle Glacier. My first visit to the Eagle Glacier was in 1982 with the, ongoing and important, Juneau Icefield Research Program, that summer I just skied on the glacier. In 1984 we put a test pit at 5000 feet near the crest of the Eagle Glacier to assess the …

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1 May 2016

North Fork Grand Plateau Glacier, Alaska-Spectacular 3 km Retreat 2013-15

North Fork Grand Plateau Glacier comparison in 2013 and 2015 Landsat images.  Illustrating the rapid retreat and lake expansion in just two years. Pink arrow is 1984 terminus, red arrow is the 2013 terminus and yellow arrow 2015 terminus. The orange dots are the 2013 terminus.  The Alsek Glacier is a large glacier draining into Alsek Lake and the Alsek River in southeast Alaska  Its neighbor the Grand Plateau Glacier has one fork  flows north and …

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28 February 2016

Shamrock Glacier, Alaska Loses Terminus Tongue

Shamrock Glacier comparison in 1987 and 2014 Landsat images. Red arrow 1987 terminus, yellow arrow 2014 terminus, purple arrows upglacier thinning and purple dots the snowline. The terminus tongues extending into the lake has been lost. Shamrock Glacier flows north from the Neacola Mountains into Chakachamna Lake in the Lake Clark National Park of Alaska. This lake is transited by several species of salmon, mainly sockeye, heading into spawning  areas upriver. …

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17 December 2015

Dawes Glacier, Alaska Retreat and Harbor Seals

Comparison of 1987 and 2015 Landsat images of Dawes Glacier. Red arrow 1987 terminus, yellow arrow 2015 terminus, pink arrow location where tributaries separated. Dawes Glacier terminates at the head of Endicott Arm, a 55 km long fjord in southeast Alaska.  Dawes is a major outlet glacier of the Stikine Icefield.  Larsen et al (2007) observed a rapid thinning of the Stikine Icefield and that Dawes was thinning faster than …

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6 October 2015

Fingers Glacier, Alaska loses a finger to melting

Landsat comparison of terminus area of Fingers Glacier 1986 and 2015 Fingers Glacier flows from the southern end of the Fairweather Range to the coastal plain, where is expands into a segmented piedmont lobe. The southernmost finger is heavily debris covered. In the Mount Fairweather B-4 quadrangle USGS map based on 1951 aerial photographs the glacier has four prominent fingers each eroding its own basin.  Here we examine Landsat imagery to …

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19 June 2015

Slender Glacier, Brooks Range, Alaska: Rapid Retreat 1992-2014

Slender Glacier is not an official name, but a well suited name to this glacier in the Romanzof Mountains of the Brooks Range of Northern Alaska.  It is adjacent to the Okpilak Glacier and drains into the Okpilak River, which is host to arctic grayling. Here we examine Landsat imagery from 1992-2014 to identify changes. U-Alaska-Fairbanks has an ongoing program in the nearby Jarvis Creek Watershed examining in part how will the …

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13 May 2015

Retreat of Grewingk Glacier, Alaska 1986-2014

Grewingk Glacier drains west toward the Kachemak Bay, Alaska terminating in a proglacial lake in Kachemak Bay State Park.  The glacier drains an icefield on the Kenai Peninsula, glaciers draining west are in the Kenai Fjords National Park. The glaciers that drain east toward are in the Kenai Fjords National Park, which has a monitoring program.  Giffen et al (2008) observed the retreat of glaciers in the region. From 1950-2005 all 27 glaciers in …

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23 March 2015

Widespread Retreat Gilkey Glacier System, Alaska

Gilkey Glacier drains the west side of the Juneau Icefield and has experienced widespread significant changes since I first worked on the glacier in 1981.    Here we examine the changes from the August 17, 1984 Landsat 5 image to the August 21, 2014 image from newly launched Landsat 8.  Landsat 5 was launched in 1984, Landsat 8 launched in 2013. The Landsat images have become a key resource in the examination of …

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12 March 2015

Demise of Antler Glacier, Juneau Icefield, Alaska

“What is wrong with this map?” . Was my first comment about the Antler Glacier in 1981, while surveying the geology in the region with the Juneau Icefield Research Program, during light snow flurries in August.  The map I had was the most up to date USGS topographic map based on 1948 images, indicating Antler Glacier terminating in a small lake.  By 1981 the lake was quite long and the …

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22 February 2015

Carbon Lake Glacier Retreat, Alaska

On Baranof Island in southeast Alaska there are a pair of unnamed glaciers at the headwaters of the Carbon Lake watershed, that then drains into Chatham Strait.  Here we examine changes in these glacier from 1986 to 2014 using Landsat imagery.  The blue arrow indicates the northern glacier terminus and the yellow arrow the southern glacier terminus region. In 1986 the southern glacier terminus, yellow arrow consisted of three main …

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4 January 2015

Nizina Glacier Retreat, Lake Formation, Alaska

If you have heard of Nizina Glacier in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska it is probably because you have contemplated a float trip down the Nizina River from Nizina Lake.  In 1990 there was no lake, since 2000 the lake has provided a good location for float planes to land.  In 2014 the lake has reached a new maximum in size and minimum in icebergs on its surface.  Here we …

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11 December 2014

Davidson Glacier Retreat, Alaska

Davidson Glacier is a large glacier that flows east from the Chilkat Range to the foreland along Chilkat Inlet and Lynn Canal in southeast Alaska. As a result it has a long history of observation of change. Molnia (2008) noted that from 1889 to 1946 the glacier retreated 400 m and a lake had developed at the terminus. By 1978 the glacier had retreated another 700 m with the proglacial …

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7 December 2014

Sinclair Glacier Retreat, Alaska

Sinclair Mountain is on the east side of the Lynn Canal in southeast Alaska. The mountains hosts too substantial glacier, the south flowing unnamed glacier is referred to here as Sinclair Glacier. This glacier terminated in a lake in the 1982 map of the Skagway region. I observed this glacier from the air in 1982 and it was ending in this lake. Here we examine Landsat imagery from 1984 to …

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28 November 2014

Sovereign Glacier Retreat, Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska

Sovereign Glacier is on the northeast side of the Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska and drains into the Talkeetna River. The Sovereign Glacier, red arrow, was joined by a tributary from the south in the map image, pink arrow. Molnia (2007) noted that all glaciers in the region have retreated since the early 1950’s when the area was mapped and that all the major termini were retreating and thinning in 2000. Here …

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