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Glacier Info - Paradise Glacier

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Paradise Glacier
This glacier originates on the south central slope of Mount Rainier between the Cowlitz and Nisqually Glaciers. It is subject to heavy melting in warm weather and once produced the well-known ice caves that were popular with visitors. When I.C. Russell and Bailey Willis explored the area in the summer of 1896 they called it a "...small interglacier..." (Reese, 2009)

STATISTICS AS OF 2015 (Beason, 2017):

Aerial Extent:
0.24 ± 0.01 square miles (0.61 ± 0.03 km2) (Rank: 21 of 29)

Debris Cover:
--No appreciable debris cover in 2015--

Highest Elevation (Head):
8,479 feet (2,585 m)

Lowest Elevation (Terminus):
6,891 feet (2,100 m)

Elevation Range:
1,589 feet (484 m)

Length:
0.46 miles (0.75 km)

Average Slope:
23°

Average Flow Direction (Flows towards):
Southeast (129°)

CHANGE IN EXTENT, 1896-2015 (Beason, 2017):
Units 1896 1913 1971 1994 2009 2015
Area, mi2 1.88 1.23 0.53 0.52 0.26 0.24
Area, km2 4.86 3.19 1.36 1.34 0.68 0.61

Area change between periods
1913 1971 1994 2009 2015
1896 -0.65 mi2
(-1.68 km2)
-1.35 mi2
(-3.50 km2)
-1.36 mi2
(-3.53 km2)
-1.62 mi2
(-4.19 km2)
-1.64 mi2
(-4.25 km2)
1913 -- -0.70 mi2
(-1.82 km2)
-0.71 mi2
(-1.85 km2)
-0.97 mi2
(-2.51 km2)
-0.99 mi2
(-2.57 km2)
1971 -- -0.01 mi2
(-0.03 km2)
-0.27 mi2
(-0.69 km2)
-0.29 mi2
(-0.75 km2)
1994 -- -0.26 mi2
(-0.66 km2)
-0.28 mi2
(-0.73 km2)
2009 -- -0.03 mi2
(-0.06 km2)

Percent change between periods
1913 1971 1994 2009 2015
1896 -34.5 % -72.0 % -72.5 % -86.1 % -87.4 %
1913 -- -57.2 % -58.0 % -78.8 % -80.8 %
1971 -- -1.9 % -50.4 % -55.1 %
1994 -- -49.4 % -54.3 %
2009 -- -9.6 %

ESTIMATED CHANGE IN VOLUME, 1896-2015 (George and Beason, 2017):
PLEASE see important notes about this, below...
Units 1896 1913 1971 1981* 1994 2009 2015
Volume, mi3 0.1017 0.0632 0.0244 0.0178 0.0238 0.0111 0.0099
Volume, km3 0.4239 0.2635 0.1015 0.0743 0.0993 0.0462 0.0412
* = 1981 was the only year that glacial volumes have been measured. See note below.

Basal Shear Stress (τ): 2,403.13 lbs/ft2

Volume change between periods
1913 1971 1981 1994 2009 2015
1896 -0.0385 mi3
(-0.1603 km3)
-0.0773 mi3
(-0.3224 km3)
-0.0839 mi3
(-0.3496 km3)
-0.0779 mi3
(-0.3245 km3)
-0.0906 mi3
(-0.3777 km3)
-0.0918 mi3
(-0.3826 km3)
1913 -- -0.0389 mi3
(-0.1620 km3)
-0.0454 mi3
(-0.1892 km3)
-0.0394 mi3
(-0.1642 km3)
-0.0521 mi3
(-0.2174 km3)
-0.0533 mi3
(-0.2223 km3)
1971 -- -0.0065 mi3
(-0.0272 km3)
-0.0005 mi3
(-0.0022 km3)
-0.0133 mi3
(-0.0553 km3)
-0.0145 mi3
(-0.0603 km3)
1981 -- 0.0060 mi3
(0.0250 km3)
-0.0068 mi3
(-0.0281 km3)
-0.0079 mi3
(-0.0331 km3)
1994 -- -0.0128 mi3
(-0.0532 km3)
-0.0139 mi3
(-0.0581 km3)
2009 -- -0.0012 mi3
(-0.0049 km3)

Percent change between periods
1913 1971 1981 1994 2009 2015
1896 -37.8 % -76.1 % -82.5 % -76.6 % -89.1 % -90.3 %
1913 -- -61.5 % -71.8 % -62.3 % -82.5 % -84.4 %
1971 -- -26.8 % -2.1 % -54.5 % -59.4 %
1981 -- 33.7 % -37.9 % -44.5 %
1994 -- -53.5 % -58.5 %
2009 -- -10.7 %

With the exception of data in 1981, all values here are calculated estimates based on work by Driedger and Kennard (1986), which calculates glacier volumes with the following equations:

If Glacier Length (L) > 8,500 ft:


If Glacier Length (L) < 8,500 ft:


Basal shear stress (τ) is calculated as:


Where V is the calculated volume of the glacier (ft3), A is the calculated area of the glacier (ft2), ρ is the density of ice (1.779 slug/ft3), g is the acceleration of gravity (32.178 ft/s2), and α is the average slope of the glacier.

If you need a really good research project, recalculating the glacier volumes at Mount Rainier is the way to go!

NOTES:


Data References: Beason, 2017, George and Beason, 2017, Reese, 2009, and Driedger and Kennard, 1986