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Glacier Info - Wilson Glacier

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Wilson Glacier
On the southern slope of Mount Rainier connected to the Nisqually Glacier this glacier was named for A.D. Wilson who, with S.F. Emmons, made the second successful ascent of the mountain achieving the summit on October 17, 1870. Dee Molenaar called Wilson and his associate Emmons "...world-renowned geologists working on the survey of the fortieth parallel." (Reese, 2009)

STATISTICS AS OF 2015 (Beason, 2017):

Aerial Extent:
0.60 ± 0.03 square miles (1.56 ± 0.08 km2) (Rank: 17 of 29)

Debris Cover:
0.05 ± 0.00 square miles (0.13 ± 0.01 km2) (Rank: 2 of 29)

Highest Elevation (Head):
10,838 feet (3,303 m)

Lowest Elevation (Terminus):
6,667 feet (2,032 m)

Elevation Range:
4,170 feet (1,271 m)

Length:
1.31 miles (2.11 km)

Average Slope:
30°

Average Flow Direction (Flows towards):
South southeast (148°)

CHANGE IN EXTENT, 1896-2015 (Beason, 2017):
Units 1896 1913 1971 1994 2009 2015
Area, mi2 -- -- -- -- -- 0.60
Area, km2 -- -- -- -- -- 1.56

Area change between periods
1913 1971 1994 2009 2015
1896 0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.60 mi2
(1.56 km2)
1913 -- 0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.60 mi2
(1.56 km2)
1971 -- 0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.60 mi2
(1.56 km2)
1994 -- 0.00 mi2
(0.00 km2)
0.60 mi2
(1.56 km2)
2009 -- 0.60 mi2
(1.56 km2)

Percent change between periods
1913 1971 1994 2009 2015
1896 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % -155,562.8 %
1913 -- 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % -155,562.8 %
1971 -- 0.0 % 0.0 % -155,562.8 %
1994 -- 0.0 % -155,562.8 %
2009 -- -155,562.8 %

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 -- -- -- 0.0423 -- -- 0.0284
Volume, km3 -- -- -- 0.1765 -- -- 0.1183
* = 1981 was the only year that glacial volumes have been measured. See note below.

Basal Shear Stress (τ): 2,671.62 lbs/ft2

Volume change between periods
1913 1971 1981 1994 2009 2015
1896 0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0423 mi3
(0.1765 km3)
0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0284 mi3
(0.1183 km3)
1913 -- 0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0423 mi3
(0.1765 km3)
0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0284 mi3
(0.1183 km3)
1971 -- 0.0423 mi3
(0.1765 km3)
0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0284 mi3
(0.1183 km3)
1981 -- -0.0423 mi3
(-0.1765 km3)
-0.0423 mi3
(-0.1765 km3)
-0.0140 mi3
(-0.0582 km3)
1994 -- 0.0000 mi3
(0.0000 km3)
0.0284 mi3
(0.1183 km3)
2009 -- 0.0284 mi3
(0.1183 km3)

Percent change between periods
1913 1971 1981 1994 2009 2015
1896 0.0 % 0.0 % -17,651,100.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % -11,829,036.9 %
1913 -- 0.0 % -17,651,100.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % -11,829,036.9 %
1971 -- -17,651,100.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % -11,829,036.9 %
1981 -- -100.0 % -100.0 % -33.0 %
1994 -- 0.0 % -11,829,036.9 %
2009 -- -11,829,036.9 %

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:
This glacier flows into the Nisqually Glacier. Extent of this glacier from 1896-2009 was included with the combined Nisqually/Wilson Glacier system. See Nisqually Glacier for extent change over time.

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