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Glacier Info - South Mowich Glacier

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South Mowich Glacier
This glacier on the west side of Mount Rainier is between the Edmunds and the Puyallup glaciers. The word Mowich is Indian in origin and means "deer" or "animal." It is drained by the South Mowich River which is joined by the North Mowich River to form the Mowich River. (Reese, 2009)

STATISTICS AS OF 2015 (Beason, 2017):

Aerial Extent:
1.45 ± 0.07 square miles (3.77 ± 0.19 km2) (Rank: 8 of 29)

Debris Cover:
0.30 ± 0.02 square miles (0.79 ± 0.05 km2) (Rank: 3 of 29)

Highest Elevation (Head):
12,877 feet (3,925 m)

Lowest Elevation (Terminus):
5,024 feet (1,531 m)

Elevation Range:
7,853 feet (2,394 m)

Length:
3.81 miles (6.14 km)

Average Slope:
33°

Average Flow Direction (Flows towards):
West (272°)

CHANGE IN EXTENT, 1896-2015 (Beason, 2017):
Units 1896 1913 1971 1994 2009 2015
Area, mi2 2.06 1.81 1.58 1.57 1.53 1.45
Area, km2 5.33 4.70 4.09 4.06 3.96 3.77

Area change between periods
1913 1971 1994 2009 2015
1896 -0.24 mi2
(-0.63 km2)
-0.48 mi2
(-1.24 km2)
-0.49 mi2
(-1.27 km2)
-0.53 mi2
(-1.37 km2)
-0.60 mi2
(-1.57 km2)
1913 -- -0.24 mi2
(-0.61 km2)
-0.25 mi2
(-0.64 km2)
-0.28 mi2
(-0.74 km2)
-0.36 mi2
(-0.93 km2)
1971 -- -0.01 mi2
(-0.03 km2)
-0.05 mi2
(-0.13 km2)
-0.13 mi2
(-0.33 km2)
1994 -- -0.04 mi2
(-0.10 km2)
-0.11 mi2
(-0.30 km2)
2009 -- -0.08 mi2
(-0.20 km2)

Percent change between periods
1913 1971 1994 2009 2015
1896 -11.8 % -23.3 % -23.8 % -25.7 % -29.4 %
1913 -- -13.0 % -13.6 % -15.7 % -19.9 %
1971 -- -0.7 % -3.1 % -8.0 %
1994 -- -2.4 % -7.3 %
2009 -- -5.0 %

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 0.1448 0.1276 0.1111 0.1003 0.1103 0.1076 0.1023
Volume, km3 0.6035 0.5320 0.4631 0.4181 0.4597 0.4486 0.4263
* = 1981 was the only year that glacial volumes have been measured. See note below.

Basal Shear Stress (τ): 2,941.84 lbs/ft2

Volume change between periods
1913 1971 1981 1994 2009 2015
1896 -0.0171 mi3
(-0.0714 km3)
-0.0337 mi3
(-0.1404 km3)
-0.0445 mi3
(-0.1854 km3)
-0.0345 mi3
(-0.1438 km3)
-0.0372 mi3
(-0.1549 km3)
-0.0425 mi3
(-0.1772 km3)
1913 -- -0.0165 mi3
(-0.0690 km3)
-0.0273 mi3
(-0.1140 km3)
-0.0174 mi3
(-0.0724 km3)
-0.0200 mi3
(-0.0834 km3)
-0.0254 mi3
(-0.1058 km3)
1971 -- -0.0108 mi3
(-0.0450 km3)
-0.0008 mi3
(-0.0034 km3)
-0.0035 mi3
(-0.0145 km3)
-0.0088 mi3
(-0.0368 km3)
1981 -- 0.0100 mi3
(0.0416 km3)
0.0073 mi3
(0.0305 km3)
0.0020 mi3
(0.0082 km3)
1994 -- -0.0027 mi3
(-0.0111 km3)
-0.0080 mi3
(-0.0334 km3)
2009 -- -0.0054 mi3
(-0.0223 km3)

Percent change between periods
1913 1971 1981 1994 2009 2015
1896 -11.8 % -23.3 % -30.7 % -23.8 % -25.7 % -29.4 %
1913 -- -13.0 % -21.4 % -13.6 % -15.7 % -19.9 %
1971 -- -9.7 % -0.7 % -3.1 % -8.0 %
1981 -- 10.0 % 7.3 % 2.0 %
1994 -- -2.4 % -7.3 %
2009 -- -5.0 %

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