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

14 August 2017

Canadian Columbia River Basin Winter 2016-2017: A Late Rally

Guest Post by Ben Pelto, PhD Candidate, UNBC Geography, pelto@unbc.ca As the summer ticks by and the fall glacier field season approaches, I’ve realized that I never put out a winter 2016-2017 synopsis, so, like the snowfall this year, it’s arrived late. May 2017, Jesse Milner of the ACMG on the Nordic Glacier in front of the “meteor strike” a newly exposed rock face that spalls ice regularly. Photo by …

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14 April 2017

Swiftcurrent Glacier, British Columbia, Swiftly Retreating 1986-2015

Swifttcurrent Glacier Comparison from 1986 and 2015 Landsat images.  Red arrow is the 1986 terminus, yellow arrow 2015 terminus, purple arrow significant tributaries in 1986, and purple dots the snowline. Swiftcurrent Glacier drains the southeast side of Mount Longstaff 15 km NW of Mount Robson.  The glacier is near the headwaters of the Fraser River, and its retreat since 1986 has led to the formation of a new alpine lake. Here …

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12 April 2017

Beautiful British Columbia Land of Many Mountains & Dwindling Glaciers

  British Columbia is host to many mountain ranges; Purcell, Monashee, Bugaboo, Selkirk, Cariboo, Coat Range, Kootenay, Kwadacha are just some of the diverse mountain ranges  that host glaciers and span climate zone. A shared characteristic today regardless of climate zone or mountain range is dwindling glacier size and volume.  Bolch et al (2010) found that from 1985-2005 Alberta glaciers lost 25% of their area and BC glaciers 11% of …

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17 March 2017

Bridge Glacier Terminus Collapse, BC, 4 km retreat 1985-2016

Bridge Glacier comparison in 1985 and 2016 Landsat Images.  Red arrow is the 1985 terminus, yellow arrow the 2016 terminus and purple arrows indicate locations where tributaries have separated between the two dates.  Bridge Glacier is an 17 km long outlet glacier of the Lillooet Icefield in British Columbia. The glacier ends in a rapidly expanding glacial lake and had an observed retreat rate of 30 m per year from …

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15 March 2017

Klippi Glacier Retreat Causes Separation, British Columbia

Klippi Glacier in Landsat images of 1987 to 2016. Red arrows indicate 1987 terminus, yellow arrows 2016 terminus and purple dots the transient snowline.  The glacier beings at 2600 m sharing a divide with Klinaklini Glacier, flowing northwest from Silverthrone Mountain and terminating at  1040 m in 1987. Klippi Glacier drains into the Machmell River, Owikeno Lake and then River Inlet on the British Columbia Coast. The Machmell River is …

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11 October 2016

Shatter & Shudder Glacier Retreat, British Columbia Lakes Form

Red arrow is the 1985 terminus location and yellow arrow the 2016 terminus location.  Note the formatiion of new lakes at end of both glaciers. Purple dots is the transient snowline in August of each year. Shatter and Shudder Glacier are at the eastern end of the Spearhead Range in Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia. Osborn et al (2007) mapped the Little Ice Age extent of the glaciers compared to …

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22 September 2016

Porcupine Glacier, BC 1.2km2 Calving Event Marks Rapid Retreat

Landsat images from Sept. 2015 and Sept. 2016.  Red arrow is the 1988 terminus and the yellow arrow the 2016 terminus.  I marks an icefall location and point A marks the large iceberg.  Porcupine Glacier is a 20 km long outlet glacier of an icefield in the Hoodoo Mountains of Northern British Columbia that terminates in an expanding proglacial lake. During 2016 the glacier had a 1.2 square kilometer iceberg …

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22 March 2016

Kiwa Glacier Retreat, British Columbia 1986-2015

Kiwa Glacier retreat from 1986 to 2015 in Landsat images.  Red arrow is 1986 terminus and yellow arrow 2015 terminus location. Purple arrow indicates upglacier thinning where more bedrock is exposed.  Purple dots indicate the transient snowline Kiwa Glacier is the longest glacier, at 9 km, in the Cariboo Mountains of  British Columbia.  The glacier drains northwest from Mount Sir Wilfred Laurier and is near the headwaters of the Fraser …

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19 November 2015

Dismal Glacier, British Columbia Prospects Match Name

Landsat image comparison from 1988 and 2015, red arrow indicates 1988 terminus and yellow arrows 2015 terminus. Purple arrows indicate thinning upglacier. Dismal Glacier flows north from Mount Durrand in the Selkirk Range of British Columbia.  It drains from 2500 m to 1950 m and its runoff flows into Downie Creek that is a tributary to the Columbia River and Revelstoke Lake.  This lake is impounded by the BCHydro Revelstoke …

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17 November 2015

Cummins Glacier Fragmentation, British Columbia

  Comparison of the Cummins Glacier from 1986 to 2015.  Purple arrows indicate upglacier thinning and disconnection. Red arrow indicates 1986 terminus position.  Note the lack of snowcover in 2015.  The Cummins Glacier is part of the Clemenceau Icefield Group in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia. The Cummins Glacier via the Cummins River feeds the 430 square kilometer Kinbasket Lake, on the Columbia River.  The lake is impounded by the 5,946 MW Mica …

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8 October 2015

Yoho Glacier, British Columbia Accumulation Zone Woes

Yoho Glacier in 2005 no accumulation zone in sight. Yoho Glacier is the largest southern outflow draining the south from the Wapta Icefield in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. It flows 6.5 km from the 3125 m to a terminus at 2200 m. The glacier terminus reach is thin, gently sloping  and uncrevassed poised for continued retreat. An exploration of Mount Balfour in 1898 a party led by Professor …

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4 June 2015

Big Bend Glacier, British Columbia Transitions to Alpine lake

“Big Bend” Glacier is an unnamed glacier west of Big Bend Peak north of Harrison Lake in Southwest British Columbia.  In 1985 the glacier was 2.6 km long filling a low valley with a surface elevation of 1600-1800 m elevation, the topographic map indicates this basic size. Here we utilize Landsat imagery to identify the changes in the glacier from 1985-2014 due to climate change. In essence the glaciated basin …

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10 July 2014

Sittakanay Glacier Retreat, British Columbia

Sittankanay Glacier drains the north side of the small icefield that feeds the retreating Wright, Speel and West Speel Glacier. The 10 km long glacier is the headwaters of the Sittkanay River, a tributary to the Taku River. Here we utilize Landsat images from 1984-2013 to identify the recent changes in the glacier. The glacier begins at 2000 m and ends in a lake at 250 m, the terminus has …

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30 May 2014

Haworth Glacier Retreat, Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia

Haworth Glacier in the northern Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia drains into Palmer Creek, which flows into Kinbasket Lake, and then the Columbia River. This glacier is often visited by climbers as the Canadian Alpine Club has a summer base camp near the terminus of the glacier. The glacier has a low slope and limited crevassing that makes it a good training ground for climbing. Menounos et al (2008) noted …

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28 May 2014

Kwadacha Provincial Park Glacier retreat, British Columbia

Kwadacha Wilderness Provincial Park in Northern British Columbia is host to numerous glaciers. Here we focus on an unnamed glacier that drains north into the Kechika River, which joins the Laird River. This glacier straddles both a watershed divide. The map of the glacier indicates the three separate termini of this glacier. Bolch et al (2010) noted that this area of BC lost 15% of its glacier area from 1985 …

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13 February 2014

West Hoboe Glacier Retreat, British Columbia

On the east margin of the Juneau Icefield is a small, compared to other glaciers, 7 km long unnamed valley glacier, here identified as West Hoboe Glacier. Here we use Landsat imagery to identify changes from 1984 to 2013. This glacier is just east of the retreating Hoboe Glacier and Llewellyn Glacier. The glacier flows from 2000 m down to 1250 m and drains into Atlin Lake at the headwaters …

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1 December 2013

Bromley Glacier Retreat, NW British Columbia

Bromley Glacier is the largest outlet glacier of the Cambria Icefield near Stewart, BC. The glacier drains north into the Bear River. Dan Smith and his graduate students of the University of Victoria have been busy searching for fossil wood as it emerges from beneath the rapidly retreating glaciers of British Columbia. They have found numerous pieces from former forest that have emerged in the last decade after being buried …

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27 November 2013

Nass Peak Glacier Retreat, Coast Mountains, British Columbia

“Nass Peak” Glacier is a 5 km long unnamed valley glacier that feeds Coast Mountain Creek and then Nass River. The closest community is Kitsault, BC on the north side of the small icefield from which the glacier originates. Here we examine changes in the is glacier in Landsat imagery from 1986 to 2013. In 1986 the glacier terminated at the red arrow, this is also approximately the mapped terminus …

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19 September 2013

Toby Glacier Retreat, Purcell Range, British Columbia

Toby Glacier is in the Purcell Mountains of southern British Columbia, part of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park. Here we examine retreat of this glacier from 1998 to 2014 using Landsat imagery and Google Earth images. The map image indicates the Little Ice Age advance moraine (LIA_on other imagers) at 1960 m, a lower lake (LL)at 2060 m, an upper lake (UL) at 2280 m, the former ELA at a …

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5 September 2013

Vowell Glacier Rapid Retreat, Bugaboos British Columbia

Vowell Glacier is the largest glacier of the Bugaboo’s or maybe was. The glacier drains to the north into Vowell Creek has retreated quite rapidly from 1998 to 2013 creating a new lake and then retreating from that lake. Here we use a sequence of Landsat and Google Earth images to identify the changes from 1998 to 2013. In 1998 Landsat imagery shows the glacier to be 5.5 km long …

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