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9 April 2020

Rainbow Glacier Fieldwork 8-7-2018

The video is of a single day of field work on Rainbow Glacier on 8-7-2018.  This was our 702nd day of fieldwork during the project that began in 1984.  On this day the field team consisted of Mariama Dryak, Erin McConnell, Jill Pelto and Mauri Pelto. Rainbow Glacier is a valley glacier on the northeast flank of Mount Baker, a stratovolcano and the highest mountain in the North Cascade Range, …

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20 April 2019

North Cascade 2019 Winter Accumulation Assessment

April 1 winter accumulation at the longer term North Cascade SNOTEL stations (Fish Lake, Lyman Lake, Park Creek, Rainy Pass, Stampede Pass and Stevens Pass). For North Cascade glaciers the accumulation season provides that layer of snow, that must then last through the melt season.  A thin layer sets the glaciers up for a mass balance loss, much like a bear with a limited fat layer would lose more mass …

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5 October 2014

Rainbow Glacier: Record Ablation in 2014 for 1984-2014 Period

From 1984-2014 we have monitored the mass balance of the Rainbow Glacier on Mount Baker, North Cascade Range, Washington. This entails detailed monitoring of snowpack depth in July and August, and subsequent ablation to the end of the melt season. On July 13th the glacier was completely snowcovered. By August 10th the snowline had risen to 1575 m, with 1.4 m of ablation since July 13th. We measured the snowdepth …

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6 May 2014

Nooksack River Glacier Runoff Importance

If glaciers did not change in response to climate, we would not have to think about their role in water resources in the watersheds that they reside. During the last two years in an ongoing study with the Nooksack Indian Tribe we have been working on quantifying the role glaciers play in that watershed. Glaciers comprise the headwaters of the Nooksack River and are a critical source of summer discharge …

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2 October 2012

Mount Baker Glacier Hydrologic Year End Update

October 1 marks the end of the hydrologic year. For glaciers this should be the end of the melt season, though this year in the North Cascades it is not. The year began with excellent snowpack in the North Cascades 4th highest since 1984. The ablation is primarily June-September, after a cool June, the melt season has been sustained and warm. The June-Sept. period is the fourth warmest of the …

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20 July 2012

Mount Baker Glacier Mass Balance

Just published in Hydrologic Process is a paper from our 28 years of research on Mount Baker. “Mass Balance Loss of Mount Baker, Washington glaciers 1990-2010” Mass balance is really the annual bank account for the glacier. Deposits are snow accumulation, withdraws are melting. A glacier that has greater income has a positive mass balance and increases in volume. Greater melting leads to losses in volume. Mount Baker,North Cascades, WA …

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