Hello guest! [ Log In ]
View Geologic Publication Information

Geologic Publications for Mount Rainier

Glacier outburst floods in the Pacific Northwest

[ back to previous page ]

Author(s): Donald Richardson

Document Type: Professional Paper 600-D
Publisher: United States Geological Survey
Published Year: 1968
Pages: 79 to 86
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:

Glacier outburst floods, not uncommon in the Pacific Northwest in late summer or fall, are sometimes triggered by heavy rain but may occur even during a rainless period. Associated mudflows often compound the destruction downstream. Outburst floods are particularly hazardous at Mount Rainier, Wash., where debris flows are reported to occur at a rate of one in 3-10 years. Several floods witnessed at Mount Rainier were much larger than expected from direct storm runoff or release of water temporarily impounded by landslides. The principal source of those floods is believed to have been the large volumes of water that are stored at times within and beneath glaciers. At present there is no known way of predicting glacier outburst floods. Conceivably, their imminence might be indicated by measurements of englacial water pressure, and their potential since would be indicated by determinations of the volume of water stored in glaciers.

View Report:
View Report (12.45M)

Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Richardson (1968) or (Richardson, 1968)

References Citation:
Richardson, D., 1968, Glacier outburst floods in the Pacific Northwest: Professional Paper 600-D, United States Geological Survey, pp. 79-86.