Advertisement

You are browsing the archive for North Cascade Glaciers Archives - From a Glacier's Perspective.

April 20, 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 …

Read More >>


February 18, 2019

Boulder Glacier, Mount Baker Washington Retreat 1980-2018

Boulder Glacier terminus position 1980-2018 as measured in the field. Note Lahar path that descends from Sherman Crater.  Lahars have also occurred subglacially during our field observations. Boulder Glacier flows down the east side of Mount Baker a strato volcano in the North Cascades of Washington. This steep glacier responds quickly to climate change and after retreating more than 2 kilometers from its Little Ice Age Maximum, it began to …

Read More >>


November 19, 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, …

Read More >>


August 20, 2018

35th Annual Field Season Monitoring North Cascade Glaciers Preliminary Assessment

We monitor the response of North Cascade glacier to climate change and the consequent impacts for water resources and the ecosystem, as illustrated here by Megan Pelto and Jill Pelto. For the 35th consecutive year I headed to the North Cascade Range, Washington to monitor the response of glaciers to climate change. During the course of this study we  observed several of the glaciers we monitor disappear.  Two of the …

Read More >>


June 23, 2018

Honeycomb Glacier Retreat, Washington New Lake Lost Nunatak

Honeycomb Glacier in Google Earth imagery from 1998 and 2016.  The dark orange line is the 1998 margin, we mapped the margin in the field in 1995 and in 2002.  The light orange line is the 2007 margin and the yellow line the 2016 margin. Note crevassing diminished as well.  Honeycomb Glacier is one of the longest and largest glaciers in the North Cascades.   In 1979 it was 3.9 km …

Read More >>


May 10, 2018

Ablation Variation with time Across Variable Glacier Surface

This post was prompted by comments from Ruth Mottram about funding for ablation process studies and the work by Fausto et al (2016) that noted non-radiative forces dominated the energy fluxes for ablation on the Greenland Ice Sheet during a period of  high ablation in July 2012.  This reminded me of a study we conducted some 25 years ago on the variation of ablation through time across a variable glacier …

Read More >>


April 27, 2018

How Unusual Was 2015 in the 1984–2015 Period of the North Cascade Glacier Annual Mass Balance?

Sholes Glacier during the first week of August 2015 versus and average year such as in 2017.  Note stream gage and weather station at this site. The greater extent of bare ice enhances ablation as for a given temperature there is a higher ablation rate for ice then snow. Columbia Glacier a WGMS reference glacier viewed from above the glacier at Monte Cristo Pass at the start of August in 2015 …

Read More >>


April 6, 2018

North Cascade Winter Snowpack Status 2018

2018 Winter Freezing levels at Mount Baker (November 2017-March 2018).  The accumulation season on most Northern Hemisphere glaciers extends through April. The key benchmark for snowpack water assessment in alpine ranges is typically April 1, as that is the average maximum snowpack for an alpine range.  In 2018 the North Cascade Range had freezing levels above the long term mean, but at the 21st century mean. A result of higher …

Read More >>


March 15, 2018

Easton Glacier, Mount Baker, WA Annual Retreat & Mass Loss 1990-2017

Mass balance, terminus and supra glacial stream assessment are illustrated in the video, Filmed by Mauri Pelto, Jill Pelto, Melanie Gajewski, with music from Scott Powers. This is the story of  the annual monitoring of Easton Glacier, Washington.  We have been monitoring Easton Glacier on Mount Baker, a stratovolcano in the North Cascade Range, Washington since 1990.  Each year we survey the terminus position, measure its mass balance, assess crevasse depths …

Read More >>


March 2, 2018

Lower Curtis Glacier Annual Terminus Response to Climate Change

Side view of Lower Curtis Glacier in 2013, 2015 and 2017, illustrating the reduced slope and height of glacier front in just four years. Terminus observations have been reported to the WGMS from 2500 glaciers with 46,500 specific observations since the late 19th century, which you can explore with the glacier viewer application. Here we examine what it looks like to report from a glacier each year.  I have visited this …

Read More >>