August 14, 2009
Minor Glacier on Gannett Peak in the Wind River Range of Wyoming is truly minor compared to when its name was given. The glacier has retreated about 500 m since 1966, which was 35% of its total length. The east side of the glacier is nearly gone. The area has been reduced from 0.87 to 0.26 km2 in the last 50 years. That is after a slow 12% loss in area from its Little Ice Age Maximum to 1952. A comparison of the 1966 map of the glacier and a 2006 SPOT satellite image illustrates the change. The glacier map outline is in orange on the satellite image. The glacier is quite thin and despite the steep slope has few crevasses evident in the image below. There is a substantial new lake that has formed at the terminus of the glacier since the 1966 map, which indicates no lake existed. bottom image From Peter Bakwin.