From atmospheric rivers… to rivers of debris.            Gordon Grant         PNW Research Station          USDA Forest Se...
November 7, 2006                      was a dark, stormy,                      and very wet night...Pineapple Express / At...
Mount RainierOct 31-Nov 7, 2006                                     NASA Earth Observatory
> 100yr Flood
Tahoma Creek, Washington
West Fork Middle Fork Hood              Mount Hood Debris FlowsEliot Creek                                            Hwy 35
8                                      7      Mount Hood            # of debris flows                                     ...
Cascadian Periglacial Debris Flow Project1) Atmospheric  rivers                                  2) Initiation            ...
Are debris flows correlated with Pineapple Express and         Atmospheric River (PE/AR) events?
PE/AR = Lots of rain        Pineapple Express event of November 5 and 6, 2006
+ High Freezing levels                         Mount Rainier Freezing Altitudes     Mt Rainier     peak elevation       Mo...
Associated with strong southwest flow    Dettinger, 2004
PE/AR event                       non PE/AR eventA debris flow was considered PE/AR related if a PE/AR event occurred     ...
Mount Hood                     Classification of storms proceeding debris flows                      Mount Rainier        ...
…and 3) Little snow cover           100            90    Mount Rainier            80    Antecedent SWE            70SWE (m...
RAINSNOW DEPTH             Iverson, pers comm.
Geomorphicfactors associated with debris flow    initiationAll recent initiation sites are:• In areas exposed by recent   ...
2001-2006   debris flow   initiation sitesGlacier Extent    1913    2008
Ellinger, 2010
Fire Hose Effect?                                           Photo: NPS• water concentrated in sub- or supra-glacial channe...
Source areas                                        • Moraines                                        • Ice-cored debris  ...
Aggradation rates within Mount Rainier National Park                                    1000.0Recent Aggradataion Rates (c...
1951196019781989                  post 2006 storm       Tahoma Creek
Aggradation rates downstream of Mount Rainier  National Park                    Christopher Magirl, USGS
Effects of climate change?• Change in                      • Continued  intensity/frequency of           glacial  PE/AR ev...
No smoking gun yet…• Atmospheric events producing  debris flows come in different  flavors• Apparent recent increase in  d...
From Atmospheric Rivers to Rivers Of Debris: Coupling Extreme Precipitation Events, Glacial Retreat, Debris Flows, And Cha...
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From Atmospheric Rivers to Rivers Of Debris: Coupling Extreme Precipitation Events, Glacial Retreat, Debris Flows, And Channel Changes On Mount Rainier, Washington [Gordon Grant]

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From Atmospheric Rivers to Rivers Of Debris: Coupling Extreme Precipitation Events, Glacial Retreat, Debris Flows, And Channel Changes On Mount Rainier, Washington. Presented by Gordon Grant at the "Perth II: Global Change and the World's Mountains" conference in Perth, Scotland in September 2010.

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From Atmospheric Rivers to Rivers Of Debris: Coupling Extreme Precipitation Events, Glacial Retreat, Debris Flows, And Channel Changes On Mount Rainier, Washington [Gordon Grant]

  1. 1. From atmospheric rivers… to rivers of debris. Gordon Grant PNW Research Station USDA Forest Service Anne Nolin, Lauren Parker, Beth Copeland Stephen Lancaster, Jonathan Ellinger Oregon State University Paul Kennard, Erin Tainer Ian Delaney Mt Rainier National Park Whitman CollegeCoupling extreme precipitation events, glacial retreat, debris flows and channel changes on Mount Rainier, Washington
  2. 2. November 7, 2006 was a dark, stormy, and very wet night...Pineapple Express / Atmospheric River November 6, 2006
  3. 3. Mount RainierOct 31-Nov 7, 2006 NASA Earth Observatory
  4. 4. > 100yr Flood
  5. 5. Tahoma Creek, Washington
  6. 6. West Fork Middle Fork Hood Mount Hood Debris FlowsEliot Creek Hwy 35
  7. 7. 8 7 Mount Hood # of debris flows 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1947 1952 1957 1962 1967 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 2007 8 7 Mount Rainier # of debris flows 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1947 1952 1957 1962 1967 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 2007Debris flow data from Driedger, Walder, Kennard
  8. 8. Cascadian Periglacial Debris Flow Project1) Atmospheric rivers 2) Initiation of debris flows 3) Downstream Climate consequences Change?
  9. 9. Are debris flows correlated with Pineapple Express and Atmospheric River (PE/AR) events?
  10. 10. PE/AR = Lots of rain Pineapple Express event of November 5 and 6, 2006
  11. 11. + High Freezing levels Mount Rainier Freezing Altitudes Mt Rainier peak elevation Mountain peak elevations Rainier Hood
  12. 12. Associated with strong southwest flow Dettinger, 2004
  13. 13. PE/AR event non PE/AR eventA debris flow was considered PE/AR related if a PE/AR event occurred on the same day as a debris flow, or on the day prior.
  14. 14. Mount Hood Classification of storms proceeding debris flows Mount Rainier Classification of storms proceeding debris flowsPineapple Express (PE) events (Dettinger, 2004) and Atmospheric Rivers (AR) (Neiman et al., 2008);Debris flow data from Driedger, Walder, Kennard
  15. 15. …and 3) Little snow cover 100 90 Mount Rainier 80 Antecedent SWE 70SWE (mm) 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 86 88 89 90 91 92 92 03 05 06 26/ 0/15/ 11/8/ 10/2/ 11/4/ 9/7/ 9/19/ 0/19/ 9/28/ 11/5/ 10/ 1 1 One Day Prior to Debris Flow Event Date
  16. 16. RAINSNOW DEPTH Iverson, pers comm.
  17. 17. Geomorphicfactors associated with debris flow initiationAll recent initiation sites are:• In areas exposed by recent (5-10 year) glacier retreat• Near glacier termini or debris-mantled stagnant ice• At heads of steep-walled gullies flanked by steep debris-mantled slopes
  18. 18. 2001-2006 debris flow initiation sitesGlacier Extent 1913 2008
  19. 19. Ellinger, 2010
  20. 20. Fire Hose Effect? Photo: NPS• water concentrated in sub- or supra-glacial channels.• flow directed toward unstable, sediment mantled slopes below/adjacent to glaciers.
  21. 21. Source areas • Moraines • Ice-cored debris • Debris mantled slopes Runout Zone Deposition in larger channelsDownstream channel response?
  22. 22. Aggradation rates within Mount Rainier National Park 1000.0Recent Aggradataion Rates (cm/yr) 1) Evidence for widespread 100.0 aggradation (not incision) Sunshine Point Lower Van 10.0 Trump 2) Higher than White long-term River average in last decade 1.0 Longmire 1997-2006 2006 0.1 0.1 1.0 10.0 100.0 1000.0 Long term (1910-2006) Aggradation Rates (cm/yr)
  23. 23. 1951196019781989 post 2006 storm Tahoma Creek
  24. 24. Aggradation rates downstream of Mount Rainier National Park Christopher Magirl, USGS
  25. 25. Effects of climate change?• Change in • Continued intensity/frequency of glacial PE/AR events retreat / fragmentation • Increased length of snow free period • Downstream signal?
  26. 26. No smoking gun yet…• Atmospheric events producing debris flows come in different flavors• Apparent recent increase in debris flows, but record is incomplete and potentially biased• Consistent pattern of aggradation within Mt Rainier National park itself• No consistent aggradation in larger rivers

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