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Geologic Publications for Mount Rainier

Melting the rocky terminus of Emmons Glacier

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Author(s): Peter L. Moore, Leah I. Nelson, Theresa M. Dits

Document Type: Science Brief
Publisher: Mount Rainier National Park
Published Year: 2014
Pages: 2
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:

Most views of Mount Rainier from the Sunrise area are dominated – at least in part – by Emmons Glacier, the largest glacier in the United States outside of Alaska. Like the other large glaciers on Rainier’s north slope (Carbon Glacier and Winthrop Glacier), the front end, or terminus, of Emmons glacier is covered in rock debris. Some of this rock debris comes from periodic rock falls from the neighboring ridges, while other debris is scraped from rock ridges that the glacier flows over. Regardless of the source, melting concentrates the debris at the glacier surface as the ice flows downslope, resulting in a nearly-continuous debris-cover over the lower half-mile of the glacier. This phenomenon is not unique to Mount Rainier, but is becoming more widespread in mountainous areas where glaciers are thinning.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Moore and others (2014) or (Moore et al., 2014)

References Citation:
Moore, P.L., L.I. Nelson, and T.M. Dits, 2014, Melting the rocky terminus of Emmons Glacier: Science Brief, Mount Rainier National Park, 2 p..