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Geologic Publications for Mount Rainier

The motion of the Nisqually Glacier, Mt. Rainier

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Author(s): Joseph N. LeConte

Document Type:
Publisher: Sierra Club Bulletin
Published Year: 1907
Volume: VI
Number: 2
Pages: 108 to 114
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:

Mt. Rainier is an extinct volcanic cone situated in the western portion of the State of Washington. Its highest point, as determined by the U. S. Geological Survey, is in Latitude 46° 51', and Longitude 121° 45.5', and its altitude, according to the latest barometric measurements, is about 14,400 feet. The mountain rises in the midst of a heavily timbered region on the western slope of the Cascade Range. This region does not average over 4,000 feet above sea-level, so that the mountain rises as a great isolated mass, visible for many miles.

The humid climate of this portion of the continent gives rise to an enormous precipitation along the coast, most of which falls between November and May. Above the level of 6,000 feet, almost the whole of this is in the form of snow. A system of glaciers is thus formed on Mt. Rainier, which has a common and continuous névé mass around the crater extending down the slopes for a distance of about a mile. Below this the névé masses become separated by thin rocky spurs and finally consolidate into a very perfect series of eleven radiating ice-streams, having a striking resemblance on a map to the rays of a starfish. The circle which includes the ends of these glaciers at the present time is about ten miles in diameter.

During the summer of 1905, the writer, as a member of the Sierra Club's Outing to Paradise Park on the south slopes of this mountain, had the opportunity of making a few measurements of the motion of the Nisqually Glacier during the month of July. The position of the end of the glacier was determined, and other of its characteristics noted, in the hope that future observers may be able to determine the changes that take place as time goes on.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
LeConte (1907) or (LeConte, 1907)

References Citation:
LeConte, J.N., 1907, The motion of the Nisqually Glacier, Mt. Rainier: Sierra Club Bulletin, Vol. VI, No. 2, pp. 108-114.