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

28 July 2020

NORTH CASCADE GLACIER CLIMATE PROJECT 2020-37th Annual Field Program

Field season images from 2019 indicating crevasse stratigraphy, annotated by Clara Deck. Director: Mauri S. Pelto, [email protected] College Field Artist & Scientist: Jill Pelto, [email protected] Who we are? NCGCP was founded in 1983 to identify the response of North Cascade glaciers to regional climate change, particularly changes in mass balance, glacier runoff and terminus behavior.   NCGCP is a field project that has a broader interdisciplinary scope and examines more glaciers than any …

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29 August 2019

North Cascade Glacier Climate Project 2019, 36th Annual Assessment

 The summer of 2019 found the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project in the field for the 36th consecutive summer monitoring the response of North Cascade glaciers to climate change.  This long term monitoring program was initiated partly in response to a challenge in 1983 from Stephen Schneider to begin monitoring glacier systems before and as climate change became a dominant variable in their behavior. The field team was comprised …

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19 November 2018

35th Annual Field Observations of North Cascade Glaciers

The 2018 field season observations, conditions and summary. Field team Mariama Dryak, Erin McConnell, Jill Pelto and Mauri Pelto. For the 35th consecutive year I headed to the North Cascade Range, Washington to monitor the response of glaciers to climate change.  Two of the glaciers the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project (NCGCP) monitors are now part of the 42 glaciers comprising the World Glacier Monitoring Service  (WGMS) reference glacier network, …

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3 October 2017

34th Annual, 2017 North Cascade Glacier Climate Project Field Season

2017 Field Season Video For the thirty fourth consecutive summer we headed into the field to monitor the continued response of North Cascade glaciers to climate change.  In 1984 when I began this program we selected 10 key glaciers to monitor.  Two of these have now disappeared.  All the glaciers have retreated extensively and lost considerable volume.  The mass balance loss is 19 m of water equivalent thickness, which is over …

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1 August 2017

34th Annual Field Program NORTH CASCADE GLACIER CLIMATE PROJECT 2017

  2016 Field Season Video NORTH CASCADE GLACIER CLIMATE PROJECT 2017 For the thirty fourth consecutive summer it is time to head into the field to monitor the continued response of North Cascade glaciers to climate change.  In 1984 when I began this program we selected 10 key glaciers to monitor.  Two of these have now disappeared.  All the glaciers have retreated extensively and lost considerable volume.  The mass balance …

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14 October 2016

2016 Field Season Results-North Cascade Glacier Climate Project

For Mount Baker, Washington the freezing level from January-April 20 was not as high as the record from 2015, but still was 400 m above the long term mean. April 1 snowpack at the key long term sites in the North Cascades was 8% above average. A warm spring altered this, with April being the warmest on record. The three-four weeks ahead of normal on June 10th, but three weeks …

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16 February 2015

Chickamin Glacier Retreat, North Cascade Range, Washington

Chickamin Glacier covers the north slope of Sinister Peak in the North Cascade Range of Washington.  The glacier has a valley tongue that descends to an outwash plain.  Here we examine retreat of the glacier from 1979 to 2012. The glacier had advanced from 1955-1975, before commencing retreat. Chickamin Glacier (John Scurlock  2004 Aerial shot, https://pbase.com/nolock/image/49374401) USGS Map of Chickamin Glacier In 1979 the glacier terminus was at the pink …

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21 September 2014

Boston Glacier Retreat, North Cascade Range, Washington

Boston Glacier is the largest glacier in the North Cascades with an area of just over 6 square kilometers. The is a steep, wide slope glacier that currently lacks any type of main terminus tongue or valley section. The glacier is extraordinarily heavily crevassed this is due a steep slope, a smooth hard bedrock basal slope and high accumulation rates. In 1986 the first time I stepped onto this glacier …

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31 August 2014

North Cascade Glacier Climate Project 2014 Field Season (31st Annual) Preliminary Results

The 2014 Glacier Field season was our 31st consecutive year working on North Cascade glaciers. After a late winter surge of snowfall, the North Cascades had a slightly above average snowpack as the melt season began in early May. The warm, dry summer to date, could end up being the warmest for the region, currently 2013 was the warmest melt season. The result is glacier melt has been high overall. …

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27 October 2013

Chocolate Glacier Retreat, Glacier Peak, Washington

From 1994-1997 we ran a four year project to survey the terminus response of all the glaciers on Glacier Peak, Washington to climate change. This was a century after a climb in the region by C.E. Rusk. Chocolate Glacier is the largest of the east side valley glaciers. The average retreat of Glacier Peak glaciers from the LIA to the 1958 positions was 1640 m. Richard Hubley noted that North …

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10 June 2013

Neve Glacier Retreat, North Cascades, Washington

I have had the opportunity to visit the Neve Glacier on eight occasions, it is not easy to get to. In the North Cascades it is one of a handful of glaciers with a large higher elevation accumulation zone, that is not on a volcano. The glacier feeds Diablo Lake, part of the Skagit River hydropower system. The terminus of the glacier in 1975 was in basin that receives considerable …

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17 June 2012

Suiattle Glacier Retreat and Outcrop Emergence, North Cascades

C.E. Rusk in 1906 hiked right to the terminus of Suiattle Glacier, which is labelled Lion’s Paw in Rusk (1924). The glacier had retreated 1400 m since its Little Ice Age maximum and based on the lack of reported brush below the glacier, this retreat had occurred primarily in the previous 30 years. By 1940 the glacier had retreated another 900 m back to within 120 m of its current …

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11 December 2011

McAllister Glacier Retreat, North Cascades

McAllister Glacier is one of the main headwaters glaciers of Thunder Creek feeding into the Skagit River in the North Cascades of Washington. The North Cascade Glacier Climate Project has examined North Cascade glaciers each summer for 28 years and found all 47 that we visit are retreating and six have disappeared. McAllister Glacier is not a glacier we access. This glacier advanced during the 1950-1979 period. This post examines …

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23 October 2011

Borealis Glacier separation and retreat

The Borealis Glacier in the North Cascades of Washington, descends the north side of Primus Peak. Unfortunately the peak is not in prime condition. The thinning glacier has separated into two ice masses, the lower section has also developed a new lake since 1995. The USGS map for the glacier indicates the upper and lower glacier connected by two ice tongues (top image). This connection has been severed by 1990 …

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2 June 2011

Columbia Glacier Past, Present and Future

For the last 27 years the first week of August has found me on the Columbia Glacier in the North Cascades of Washington. Annual visit pictures up to 2008 can be seen at bottom of post. This is the lowest elevation large glacier in the North Cascades. Columbia Glacier occupies a deep cirque above Blanca Lake and ranging in altitude from 1400 meters to 1700 meters. Kyes, Monte Cristo and …

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23 November 2010

Banded Glacier a new alpine lake

Banded Glacier comparison in 1998 (left) and 2011 (right) Google Earth images.  Red arrows and dots indicate 1998 terminus-margin.  Yellow arrow and dots indicate 2011 terminus-margin The Banded Glacier on Mount Logan in the North Cascades of Washington has retreated since 1950 creating a new alpine lake, that is not evident on USGS maps of the time. In 1960 the glacier was 450 m wide ending in a lake that …

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7 October 2010

Quien Sabe Glacier Retreat

The Quien Sabe Glacier in the North Cascades of Washington has experienced rapid retreat in the last 20 years. This glacier is the largest in Boston Basin near Cascade Pass, its name translates to “who knows?”, well we all know it is not enjoying recent climate. In the 1960 Austin Post photograph he gave to me in 1994, the glacier was heavily crevassed and advancing. By 1975 the advance had …

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8 July 2010

The Lower Curtis Glacier on Mount Shuksan advanced from 1950-1975 and has retreated 150 meters from 1987-2009. A longitudinal profile up the middle of the glacier indicates that it thinned 30 meters from 1908-1984 and 10 m from 1984-2008. Compare the 1908 image taken by Asahel Curtis (glacier named for him) in 1908 and our annual glacier shot in 2003. The thinning has been as large in the accumulation zone …

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1 February 2010

Colonial Glacier Retreat and Hydropower

Colonial Glacier is on the southwest side of Colonial Peak in the Skagit River Watershed, North Cascades of Washington. The North Cascade Glacier Climate Project has made six visits to this glacier over the last 25 years. Meltwater from this glacier enters Diablo Lake above Diablo Dam and then flows through Gorge Lake and Gorge Dam. These two Seattle City Light hydropower projects yield 360 MW of power. As this …

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17 November 2009

Hinman Glacier, North Cascades disappears

In the USGS map for Mount Daniels-Mount Hinman in the North Cascades, Washington based on 1958 aerial photographs, overlain in Google Earth. Hinman Glacier is the largest glacier in the North Cascades south of Glacier Peak. Today it is nearly gone. Hinman Lake, unofficial name, has taken the place of the former glacier, which still has a couple of separated relict ice masses. From 1984-2007 all 47 glaciers observed by …

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