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July 19, 2022

Swiss Alps Exceptionally High Glacier Snowlines Mid-July 2022

Rhone Glacier snowline at end of 2003 melt season, July 9, 2022 and July 17, 2022. Rhone Glacier Sentinel images indicating the snowline position mid July 2021 and 2022 and mid-June 2022. Rhone Glacier Sentinel images indicating the snowline position at the end of the melt season in 2018 and July 18, 2022.  Rhone Glacier is a temperate valley glacier and is the primary headwaters for the Rhone River. Easy …


June 20, 2022

Heat Wave Leads to Rapid Glacier Snowcover Loss in Alps

Grande Murailles Glacier, Italy (GM) in June Sentinel images. The yellow line is the glacier margin, the expansion of bare glacier ice from 1-3% of the glacier on June 10 to 20% of the glacier by June 18 is evident. The snowline is ~3200 m. The heat wave during the last week that has impacted western Europe and the Alps has led to a predictable impact on glaciers (WMO, June …


March 11, 2019

Läntagletscher, Switzerland Separates From Rapidly Melting Terminus Lobe

Läntagletscher (L)  in 1990 Landsat image and 2018 Sentinel image.  Red arrow is the 1990 terminus location, yellow arrow 2018 terminus location, Zervreilasee (Z)  and Gufergletscher (G) Läntagletscher is in the Alps draining into the Zervreilasee and then the Rhone River.  Zervreila is a 22 MW hydropower facility, with a 150 m high arch dam . From 1990-2014 the glacier retreated at a steady rate of ~24 m/year.  The upper portion …


November 2, 2018

Breney Glacier Switzerland Accelerating Retreat 1988-2018

Breney Galcier, Switzerland in Landsat images from 1988 and 2018.  Red arrow = 1988 terminus location, yellow terminus =2018 and purple dots the snowline.  B=Breney Glacier, G=Gietro Glacier, L=Lateral Moraine, M=Lac Mauvoisin and O=Otemma Glacier. Breney Glacier (B) is in the next valley to the north of Otemma Glacier (O) and south of Gietro Glacier (G), it  flows southwest into Lac de Mauvoisin (M). Breney Glacier is one of the …


July 25, 2018

Bas d’Arolla Glacier, Switzerland No Longer Reaches Valley

Bas d’Arolla Glacier in Landsat images from 1990, 2001 and 2017.  Red arrow is 1985 terminus, yellow arrow 2017 terminus location, purple dots annual snowline. A=Bas d’Arolla O=Otemma Bas D’Arolla Glacier is one of the glaciers where the terminus is monitored annually by the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Network (SCNAT). Here we examine changes in this glacier from 1985 to 2017 including changes in the terminus, snowline elevation and tributary connection …


August 29, 2017

Saleina Glacier, Switzerland Terminus Separation

Saleina Glacier comparison in 1985 and 2015 Landsat images.  The red arrow is the 1985 terminus, the yellow arrow the 2015 terminus and the purple dots the transient snow line in these August images.  Saleina Glacier is south of Trient Glacier descending a steep eastward oriented valley from Aiguille d’Argentiere on the northern end of the Mount Blanc Range.  The Swiss Monitoring Network has maintained annual observations of the glacier …


July 27, 2017

Plaine Morte Glacier, Switzerland July 2017 Bare of Snow

Landsat images from 2013, 2014 and 2015 and Sentinel Image from 2017 indicating lack of snowcover on Plaine Morte Glacier (PM).  Nearby Wildstrubel Glacier (W) terminus has separated since 2005. Glacier de la Plaine Morte  (Plaine Morte: PM) is in the Swiss Alps just north of Crans Montana.  The Crans Montana resort has a lift that ends just above the glacier, and a ski loop traverses the middle of the …


March 9, 2017

Cavagnoli Glacier, Switzerland Fading Away

Google Earth image of Cavagnoli in 2010 and a Sentinel 2 image from Sept. 9  2016.  Ice masses are numbered.  No retained 2016 snowpack, note the lighter colored snow on the upper Basodino Glacier Cavagnoli Glacier (Ghiacciaio dei Cavagnöö) drains south into Lago dei Cavagnoli (Lago dei Cavagnöö), which is impounded by a dam that is 111 meters high.  The glacier like its neighbor Basodino Glacier  is in the Ticino River …


March 7, 2017

Basodino Glacier, Switzerland Mass Balance Loss & Hydropower

Basodino Glacier in August and September of 2016 illustrating the upward shift of the snowline in the 15 days between the Landsat (left) and Sentinel (right) image. purple dots mark snowline.  Basodino Glacier is a small northeast facing slope glacier in the southern Swiss Alps.  The glacier is in the Ticino River watershed and supplies the Robiei Hydropower system. The glacier is in the same basin as Cavagnoli Glacier, which …


October 3, 2016

Findelengletscher, Switzerland Retreat & Hydrology Insights from David Collins

Landsat image comparison of Findelengletscher from 1988 to 2015. Red arrow indicating the 1988 terminus location and yellow arrow the 2015 terminus location.  The purple arrows indicate two tributaries connected to the main glacier in 1988 and now disconnected. Findelengletscher along with Gornergletscher drains the west side of the mountain ridge extending from Lyskamm to Monte Rosa, Cima di Jazzi and Strahlhorn in the Swiss Alps.  It is the headwaters of the Matter …