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November 29, 2021

How A Glacier Disappears- Lewis, Milk Lake and Colonial Glacier North Cascade Range?

Colonial Glacier in late summer false color Sentinel 2 images from 2019, 2020 and 2021. Yellow arrow indicates step that calves in 2020. Notice the ~10% of snowcover (bright white) remaining on glacier surface with more melt to come. An alpine glacier disappears when it no longer has a persistent accumulation zone (Pelto, 2010). When this occurs the glacier is typically limited in size, but still can have significant ice …

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November 21, 2021

Bernardo Glacier, Chile Retreat Yields 15 km2 Lake Expansion 1986-2021

Bernardo Glacier in Landsat images from 1986 and 2021 illustrating retreat at the southern (S), middle (M) and northern (N) terminus respectively. Red arrows are 1986 terminus locations, yellow arrows are 2021 terminus locations. Separation from Tempano occurs at S, while lake expansion occurs at M and N. Bernardo Glacier is an outlet glacier on the west side of the Southern Patagonia Icefield (SPI) that  currently ends in an expanding …

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November 14, 2021

Field Glacier, Alaska Retreat, Separation and Rapid Lake Development 1984-2021

Field Glacier on Aug. 31, 2021 in a Sentinel image. Note former glacier junctions A and B where the glacier has separated this century. The 7.5 km2 lake did not exist when I first visited this glacier. The Field Glacier flows from the northwest side of the Juneau Icefield, and is named for Alaskan glaciologist and American Geographical Society leader William O. Field. Bill along with his work around Glacier …

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November 11, 2021

Melt Severs Northern Patagonia Icefield Glacier Connections

Loss of glacier connection between HPN1 and HPN2 in Landsat images from 2000 and 202o at Point A and B. Glacier tongue retreat at Point A from HPN1 and at Point C from HPN2. Formation of 1.4 km2 lake at HPN1. HPN1, HPN2 and HPN3 drain adjacent sections of the the Northern Patagonia Icefield (NPI).  HPN2 and HPN3 comprise the Acodado Glacier, with HPN1 being the next glacier to the …

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November 4, 2021

Drogpa Nagtsang Glacier, China 2021 Snow Line Positions Lake Expansion

Drogpa Nagtsang Glacier, China retreat and proglacial expansion in 1993 and 2021 Landsat images. Red arrow is the 1993 terminus, yellow arrow the 2021 terminus and yellow dots are the snowline. Drogpa Nagtsang Glacier, China is 30 km west of Mount Everest terminating in an expanding proglacial lake. The glacier begins on the Nepal border at 6400 m, and its meltwater enters the Tamakoshi River that supplies the Upper Tamakoshi …

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October 26, 2021

Queulat Glacer Complex, Chile Recession 1987-2021

Seven outlet glaciers of the Queulat glacier complex, Chile in 1987 and 2020 Landsat images. A=Rosselot Glacier and D=Colgante Hanging Glacier are the only ones in 1987 not terminating in a proglacial lake. The other five retreated from a proglacial lake since 1987 and Rosselot Glacier retreat has led to formation of two lakes.  Nevado Queulat, Chile is the centerpiece of the Queulat National Park in the Aysen Region.  This …

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October 22, 2021

From Shasta, CA to Adams to Baker, WA to Kokanee, BC to Banff, AB High Glacier Mass Loss in 2021

Easton Glacier on Mount Baker in late August 2021, with less than 20% of the glacier retaining snowpack. The exceptional heat of the summer of 2021 across glaciated mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest, reduced snowcover extent from Mount Shasta, CA north to Mount Adams and Mount Baker, WA and east to Glacier National Park, MT,  Kokanee Glacier, BC and Bonnet Glacier, Alberta.  Here we examine late summer images to illustrate the extent …

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October 12, 2021

Sholes Glacier, WA and a Cascade of Ologies

Watercolor painting of Sholes Glacier. The small figure is at the current terminus of the glacier, and the photo that inspired this painting was taken from where the glacier used to end about 35 years prior. By Jill Pelto Sholes Glacier is on the northeast flank of Mount Baker, WA.  We have spent the last 32 years completing detailed measurments on this glacier that has revealed a story of glacier …

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October 4, 2021

Blackfoot and Jackson Glacier, Montana Lack Accumulation Zone in 2021

Jackson and Blackfoot Glacier in late August and early September Sentinel 2 false color images. Point A indicates exposed ice showing annual layers. Point B indicates exposed firn that had been retained through previous summers. The gray color of the firn indicates how dirty it is and that its albedo would enhance melting.  The yellow arrow indicates the one patch of retained snow in 2021 on Blackfoot Glacier with no …

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September 28, 2021

Kokanee Glacier 2021: slash and burn

By Ben Pelto, PhD, UBC Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Research Fellow Since 2013 I have been working on the Kokanee Glacier. Located just outside of Nelson in southeastern British Columbia (BC), the Kokanee Glacier is due north of the Washington-Idaho border. This work began as part of a five-year study of the cryosphere in the Canadian portion of the Columbia River. This project was carried out by the Canadian Columbia River …

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