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March 9, 2014

Purvis Glacier Retreat, South Georgia Island

Purvis Glacier is on the norteastern coast of the island, terminating on land near Possession Bay. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has mapped many aspects of the island including glacier front changes. Their mapping indicated below shows that the Purvis Glacier terminus was on the coastline in 1974. Here we examine Landsat imagery from 1999 to 2014 to identify more recent changes. Cook et al (2010) quantified the change in …


March 2, 2014

Kluhor Glacier Retreat, Caucasus Mountains, Russia

Kluhor (Klukhor) Glacier is in the Caucasus Mountains west of Mount Elbrus. It drains into the Teberda River and then the Kuban River and eventually Krasnodar Reservoir and the Black Sea. The Krasnodar Reservoir is primarily a flood control and irrigation management reservoir. Here we examine three glaciers each experiencing the familiar pattern in the Caucasus Mountains of retreat with expansion of proglacial lakes. As the area and number of …


February 23, 2014

Psysh Glacier Retreat, Western Caucasus, Russia

Psysh Mountain is in the western Caucasus just north of the Georgia-Russia border. This is the western most significant glacier complex in the Caucasus, here we focus on a glacier flowing east from the mountain and another on the north side. The east flowing glacier drains into the Psysh Valley and then to Arkhyz, while the north flowing glacier drains into the Zagedan River. The Caucasus region has been experiencing …


February 5, 2014

White River Glacier Disequilibrium Retreat, Washington

White River Glacier in the North Cascades of Washington is on the southeast flank of Glacier Peak. From 1955-1967 White River Glacier had a stable though thinning terminus. In 1967 the glacier descended from the summit area of Kololo Peak separating into two terminus tongues ending in two basins. In both basins the glacier terminus filled the basins and flowed a short distance beyond the basins. During my first visit …


January 26, 2014

Walker Glacier Retreat and Lake Development, Alaska

Google Earth Image indicating flow of Walker Glacier. Walker Glacier terminates adjacent to the Alsek River, a popular rafting river route. Many rafting trips visit Walker Glacier since it is close to river, has a low slope and few crevasses.In 1984 the glacier ended as a piedmont lobe separated from the river by meters. Today the terminus has retreated into a lake basin at the terminus. Here we examine Landsat …


December 20, 2011

Mueller Glacier retreat Lake Expansion, New Zealand

Glacier change revealed in Landsat images from 1990 and 2015.  Mueller Glacier (M) and Hooker Glacier (H). The red arrow indicates 1990 terminus location, the yellow arrow indicates 2015 terminus location and the purple arrow indicates upglacier thinning. Volume loss in New Zealand glaciers is dominated by 12 large glaciers. The NIWA glacier monitoring program has noted that volume of ice in New Zealand’s Southern Alps has decreased 5.8 cubic kilometres, …


September 25, 2011

Eagle Glacier Retreat, Juneau Icefield Alaska

Above is a paired Landsat image from 1984 left and 2013 right indicating the 1100 m retreat during this period of Eagle Glacier.My first visit to the Eagle Glacier was in 1982 with the, ongoing and important, Juneau Icefield Research Program, that summer I just skied on the glacier. In 1984 we put a test pit at 5000 feet near the crest of the Eagle Glacier to assess the snowpack …


February 4, 2011

Grand Plateau Glacier Retreat, Alaska

Grand Plateau Glacier in 1984 and 2015 Landsat images.  Red arrow is the 1984 terminus location and yellow arrows the 2015 terminus locations. D=Distributary tongue, NF=North Fork, N=Nunatak, GP=Grand Plateau Grand Plateau Glacier drains southwest from Mount Fairweather in southeast Alaska. The glacier advanced during the Little Ice age to the Alaskan coastline. Early maps from 1908 show no lake at the terminus of the glacier. The 1948 map shows …


April 4, 2010

Mer de Glace, Glacier Retreat-A Receding Sea

Mer de Glace (Mg) and Argentiere Glacier (A) in a 1990 Landsat image left and 2015 image right. Red arrow is the 1990 terminus, 2015 terminus is at yellow arrow, purple arrow indicate higher elevation thinning of a tributary that is retreating.  Mer De Glace drains the north side of Mont Blanc. This is the largest glacier in this section of the Alps, it is 12 km long. The “sea …


September 12, 2009

Devon Ice Cap

Two recent papers have examined the changes in flow, mass balance and volume of the Devon Ice Cap(Shepherd et al., 2007) (Dowdeswell, 2004). The Devon Ice Cap on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic ice cap’s area has an area of 14,000 km2, with a volume of 3980 km3 . The ice cap area decreased by 332 km2 (2.4%) between 1960 and 2000. The mass balance of the glacier has …