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Evidence of a changing climate impacting the fluvial geomorphology of the Kautz Creek on Mt. Rainier

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Author(s): Melanie Graeff

Document Type: M.S. Thesis
Publisher: The Evergreen State College
Published Year: 2017
Pages: 76
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:
Keywords: Kautz Mt. Rainier GIS LiDAR atmospheric river el nino-southern oscillation climate change sedimentation

Carbon dioxide emissions have stimulated the warming of air and ocean temperatures worldwide. These conditions have fueled the intensity of El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Atmospheric River events by supplying increased water vapor into the atmosphere. These precipitation events have impacted the fluvial geomorphology of a creek on the southwestern flank of the Kautz Creek on Mt. Rainier, Washington. Using GIS software was the primary means of obtaining data due to the lack of publications published on the Kautz Creek. Time periods of study were set up from a 2012 publication written by Jonathan Czuba and others, that mentioned observations of the creek that dated from 1960 to 2008. In combining those observations of the Kautz and weather data from the weather station in Longmire, Washington, this allowed for a further understanding of how climate change has affected the fluvial geomorphology of the Kautz Creek over time. GIS software mapping showed numerous changes on the creek since 2008. The warming of seasonal temperatures and precipitation has increased aggradation of the creek due to the melting of the Kautz glacier. The maps show definite sediment movement with increased erosion near the upper half of the creek near the glacier terminus. The increased widening of the creek channel due to sedimentation is influencing waterflow; threatening downstream infrastructure and public access spaces with flooding. With the likelihood of these heavy precipitation events impacting the region in the future, continued monitoring and mapping of this creek and other tributaries need to take place to ensure the public safety and accessibility of the park.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Graeff (2017) or (Graeff, 2017)

References Citation:
Graeff, M., 2017, Evidence of a changing climate impacting the fluvial geomorphology of the Kautz Creek on Mt. Rainier: M.S. Thesis, The Evergreen State College, 76 p..