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Variations in glacier retreat in the American West, implications for water resources [Andrew Fountain]
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Variations in glacier retreat in the American West, implications for water resources [Andrew Fountain]

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Variations in glacier retreat in the American West, implications for water resources. Presented by Andrew Fountain at the "Perth II: Global Change and the World's Mountains" conference in Perth, …

Variations in glacier retreat in the American West, implications for water resources. Presented by Andrew Fountain at the "Perth II: Global Change and the World's Mountains" conference in Perth, Scotland in September 2010.

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  • 1. Glacier Change and its Effects on Alpine Runoff in the American West Lilliput Glacier Global Change and the World’s Mountains Perth September 28, 2010Andrew G. Fountain1, Kristina Thorneycroft1, David Peterson2, and Dan Fagre3 1Portland State University, Portland, OR; 2US Forest Service, Seattle, WA; 3US Geological Survey, West Glacier, MT
  • 2. Glaciers in the American West 1 : 24,000 1158 8303 perennial snow 3079 68.6 and ice features 450 688 km2 (266 miles2)46342.5 208 2.6 1475 73.3 1 0.09 141 4.8 1778 46.2 US Forest Service lands National Park Service lands Glaciers
  • 3. Beartooth, MT Wind River, WY Lewis CO Range, MTNorthCascades Sierra Nevada
  • 4. Distribution of Glacier Area 1958-1980 3000 2500 2000Number Lyell Glacier, east lobe, Basagic, 2006 1500 1000 500 0 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 Area (m) Log Area (m2) South Cascade Glacier, 1960
  • 5. 1907 Darwin Glacier Sierra Nevada Kings Canyon Nat. ParkAugust 14, 1907 G.K.Gilbert 2003August 2, 2003 Hassan Basagic
  • 6. Fraction of Glacier Area Lost since 1900 25%31% 46% 66% 24% 30% 40% 56% US Forest Service lands National Park Service lands Glaciers
  • 7. Fraction of Glacier Area Lost since 1900 25% 31% 46% 66% 24% 30%South Cascade Glacier, Fountain, 1984 40% 56% US Forest Service lands National Park Service lands Glaciers
  • 8. Glacier Change Across the Change in Glacier National Park Glaciers Area West 4 Glacier 3 Area (km 2) Grinell 2 Sperry 1 0 Area Change in Olympic Range Glaciers 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 6 Year 5 Blue 4 Anderson Area (km 2) Constance 3 Olympic Eel 2 Mystery 1 Hoh 0 Area Change in RMNP 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 0.12 Year 0.1 Andrew s Area (km 2) 0.08 Tyndall 0.06 Sprague 0.04 0.02 Row e 0 Rocky Mtn Change in Sierra Nevada Glaciers Area 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 0.7 Year Conness 0.6 0.5 Yoseki Lyell West Area (km 2) Lyell East 0.4 Darw in 0.3 Goodard 0.2 Picket 0.1 Lilliput 0 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 Year
  • 9. Climate Controls on Glacier Change Loading:Locations of glaciers with long time series PC1: 47% PC2: 18%
  • 10. Effects on Water Quality Electrical Conductivity Water TemperatureApplies to point source variablesDoes not apply to turbidity or suspended sediment
  • 11. North Cascades, WashingtonVancouver Seattle Portland Area (km2) % Basin Coverage 1900 63.04 23.18% 1958 37.16 13.67% 1998 35.67 13.12% 2006 32.8 12.06% Thunder Creek Basin Area: 271.9 km2 Mean Basin Elevation: 1768 m
  • 12. Hypothesized Changes in Water Quality Thunder Creek Basin1900 2006 glaciers
  • 13. Precipitation and Runoff in Thunder Creek Basin 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 30 cm per month cm per month cm per month Aug- Sep Aug- Sep per month cm permonth 20 cmcmpermonth cm per month Precipitation Precipitation 10 0 Aug- Sep Aug- Sep 20 Runoff Runoff -10 cmper month cm per month 10 -20 0 -10 Aug- Sep Aug- Sep -20 Runoff - Precip Runoff - Precip Cummulative mass balance 21950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 mass balance (m weq) 5 1 0 -5 (m weq) 0 -10 -1 -15 -2 South CascadeGlacier South Cascade Glacier -20 -3 -25Klawatti Glacier Thunder Creek Basin 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
  • 14. Importance of Glaciers in the Pacific NorthwestWater Supply Jeff Phillippe, 2008
  • 15. Effects: Hazards Geologic Hazards debris flows outburst floods John ScurlockOregon Highway 35, Nov 7, 2006 Doug Jones
  • 16. Conclusions• Glacier recession, like elsewhere in the world has been substantial in the American West. The main driver of glacier shrinkage is warming air temperatures.• Glacier recession has probably affected water quality in terms of warmer stream temperatures and higher electrical conductivity.• Mass wastage of glaciers have contributed to stream flow in measurable ways and if glaciers continue to recede the water runoff will be substantially reduced.• In regions populated with stratovolcanoes, glacier recession will increase the potential of slope failures and resulting debris flows.

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