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Glacier retreat, outburst floods, and kinematic waves: Nisqually Glacier changes related to climate

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Author(s): C M. Stevens, Howard Conway, Paul M. Kennard, L A. Rasmussen, Michelle Koutnik

Category: PUBLICATION
Document Type: Unpublished Report to Mount Rainier National Park
Publisher: Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Published Year: 2016
Volume:
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Pages: 29
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:
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Abstract:
Nisqually glacier, located on the southern slopes of Mt. Rainier in Washington State, USA, has a long history of observations and research; the first recorded observation of its terminus position was in 1857 Since then, numerous research efforts have maintained continuity of the long-term records, including terminus position, and measurements of ice-surface elevation across three transverse profiles. Detailed topographic maps of Nisqually glacier were produced every 5 years from 1931-1976. Daily weather observations have been made nearly continuously at the Paradise ranger station and Longmire since 1916 The National Park Service started a glacier mass balance program in 2003 The long-term records provide a unique opportunity to study how the glacier has responded to climate variability in the Pacific Northwest over the past century.

A primary objective of this report is to document the measurements of ice-surface-elevation at three different elevations across Nisqually Glacier. Measurements were started in 1931; analyses of the 84-year record provide details of spatial and temporal variations of the surface geometry that we use to track the passage of kinematic waves down the glacier. We also examine the timing of kinematic waves in context of glacier advance/retreat and the timing of outburst floods.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Stevens and others (2016) or (Stevens et al., 2016)

References Citation:
Stevens, C.M., H. Conway, P.M. Kennard, L.A. Rasmussen, and M. Koutnik, 2016, Glacier retreat, outburst floods, and kinematic waves: Nisqually Glacier changes related to climate: Unpublished Report to Mount Rainier National Park, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 29 p..