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Geologic Publications for Mount Rainier

Geomorphic assessment of changes in the Nisqually River, 2013-2015, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

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Author(s): Christina M. Andry

Category: POSTER
Document Type: Unpublished Poster
Publisher: National Park Service Mosaics in Science Program
Published Year: 2015
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:

Natural hazards associated with Mount Rainier extend beyond the potential for volcanic activity to include more imminent threats such as rockfalls, debris flows, glacial outburst floods, and seasonal flooding of the glacially-sourced braided rivers. Such events can occur nearly instantaneously but regular monitoring of the mountain’s glaciers, climate, and river systems can facilitate hazard forecasting and early warning efforts. Several rivers are situated in close proximity to park infrastructure as well as within frequented hiking areas and have been chosen for studies such as discharge monitoring, cross-sectional surveys, and implementation of diversion or reinforcement structures.

Cross-sectional surveys of the Nisqually River were conducted in this study in order to identify locations of channel avulsion and rates of aggradation and incision since the last construction of cross sections in 2013. Areas surveyed are significant based on river size, proximity to park infrastructure, and historical mass wasting events.

The 2014-2015 winter snowpack within the park was at a record low, increasing hazard risk with more exposed unconsolidated sediment on steep slopes. All debris flows since 2006 have initiated in areas that have been recently deglaciated. Recent climate trends and continued rapid glacial retreat also contribute to an increase in hazard risk. These trends reflect the importance of future annual glacier and river surveys for park visitor and employee safety.

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In Text Citation:
Andry (2015) or (Andry, 2015)

References Citation:
Andry, C.M., 2015, Geomorphic assessment of changes in the Nisqually River, 2013-2015, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA: Unpublished Poster, National Park Service Mosaics in Science Program,