You are browsing the archive for alberta glacier retreat Archives - From a Glacier's Perspective.

February 6, 2020

Scott Glacier, Alberta Retreat 1987-2019

Scott Glacier, Alberta in 1987 and 2019 Landsat images. Yellow arrow indicates the 2019 terminus location and Point A and B are areas of bedrock expansion amidst the glacier. Scott Glacier is the largest outlet glacier of the Hooker Icefield the drains into the Whirpool River and then the Athabasca River.  The icefield straddles the BC/Alberta border. Jiskoot et al (2009) examined the behavior of the Clemenceau-Chaba Icefield, 25 km …


June 22, 2017

Bonnet Glacier, Alberta Retreat & New Lake Formation

Bonnet Glacier, Alberta compared in Landsat images from 1987 and 2016. The red arrows mark the 1987 terminus, yellow arrows are the 2016 terminus location and the orange arrow notes a separate glacier that has disappeared. Bonnet Glacier is at the headwaters of Douglas Creek that feeds into the Red Deer River.  The glacier drains north from Bonnet Peak in the Sawback Range 30 km east of the crest of …


January 25, 2017

Columbia Glacier, Alberta 3 km Retreat 1986-2015

Comparison of Columbia Glacier, which is the glacier flowing into the lake at top in 1986 and 2015 Landsat images. The red arrow is the 1986 terminus, yellow arrow the 2015 terminus position and purple arrow the tributary. The Columbia Glacier drains the northwest side of Columbia Icefield into the Athabasca River in Alberta. The glacier in 1964 was 8.5 km long, by 1980 9.5 km long and in 2015 6.2 …


April 9, 2015

Rapid Retreat of Freshfield Glacier, Alberta 1964-2014

The Freshfield Glacier is a large glacier southeast of the Columbia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies where recent retreat  has exposed a new glacier lake.  Today the glacier is 9.8 km long beginning at 3070 meters and ending at 2000 m near the shore of the less than 5 year old lake. This glacier during the Little Ice Age stretched 14.3 km, one of the longest in the entire range extending …


March 16, 2015

Conway Glacier Separation and Retreat, Alberta

Conway Glacier drains east from the border with British Columbia into the Howse River. The Howse River joins the Saskatchewan River upstream of the Bighorn Hydropower project, which impounds Lake Abraham and produces 120 MW of power. The map of this area was updated based on 1990 images which indicate Conway Glacier is comprised of two lobes that join near the terminus.   An inventory of glaciers in the Canadian Rockies indicate area loss …


January 31, 2015

Southwest Brazeau Icefield Retreat, Alberta

The Brazeau Icefield straddles high peaks southeast of Jasper, Alberta.  The northern outlet glaciers drain into Maligne Lake and the southern outlet glaciers drain in to Brazeau Lake and the Brazeau River.  The Brazeau River flows into Brazeau Reservoir a 355 MW hydropower facility, before joining the Saskatchewan River. An inventory of glaciers in the Canadian Rockies indicate area loss of 15% from 1985 to 2005 (Bolch et al, 2010). …


September 16, 2014

Robson Glacier Retreat, British Columbia

Robson Glacier is the largest glacier on the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. The glacier begins at 3200 m and drains northeast from the summit ending in a proglacial lake at 1720 m. The glaciers upper west side has heavy avalanche accumulation from Mount Robson’s upper slopes, note the 1964 photograph from the legendary USGS glacier guru Austin Post. The history of this glacier has been examined using tree …


September 11, 2014

Fraser Glacier, Separation and Retreat Alberta

Fraser Glacier, Alberta on the southern flank of Bennington Peak in Jasper National Park drains into the Athabasca River not the Fraser River. The glacier was reported in the USGS satellite image atlas as having a length of 3.5 km in the 1970’s. In Canadian Topographic maps the glacier extends for over 3.0 km from 2900 m to 2200 m. Today the glacier is barely half that length. The glacier …


August 18, 2013

Mangin Glacier Retreat and Separation, Alberta

Mangin Glacier and its unnamed neighbor flow down the north slope of Mount Joffre, Alberta and drain into Kananaskis Lake. The glacier like the vast majority in Alberta has been losing area and volume during its retreat. Bolch et al (2010) noted that the glaciers in western Canada had on average lost 11% of their area from 1985 to 2005, 16% on the east slope of the continental divide in …


July 22, 2012

Coleman Glacier Retreat, Mount Robson, Alberta

Coleman Glacier flows north from the Reef icefield on the northeast flank of Mount Robson. This glacier is 6 km long and has a relatively low slope descending from 2500 m to a terminus just above 2100 meters. Coleman Glacier flows north from the British Columbia, in an inventory of western Canada glaciers Bolch et al (2010) found that from 1985-2005 Alberta glaciers lost 25% of their area and BC …