Posts Tagged garibaldi glacier retreat

Snowcap Creek Glacier Retreat, British Columbia

Snowcap Creek Glacier is one valley north of Stave Glacier in the Garibaldi Provincial Park Region of British Columbia. The retreat of glaciers in this region has been well documented by Koch et al (2009). The response varies from a glacier like the Helm Glacier which is melting away to the Snowcap Creek Glacier which is has been rapidly retreating but has remained vigorous.
snowcap creek 2006 ge
Landsat images and Google Earth images are used to document the development of a lake at the terminus of the glacier. In 1992 there is no lake at the main terminus, red arrow or subsidiary terminus at the yellow arrow. There is also a connection between the terminus and the glacier to the north at the magenta arrow. By 2009 there is a new lake at the main terminus that is 700 meters across the glacier reaches the western shore of this lake. A smaller lake has formed at subsidiary terminus, yellow arrow. The terminus is no longer connected to the glacier to the north at the magenta arrow. By 2012 the glacier has retreated 800 meters from 1992 and no longer reaches the western margin of the new unnamed lake, red arrow. The subsidiary terminus lake has expanded but is still less than 100 meters across.

snowcap creek glacier 1992
snowcap glacier 2009
snowcap creek glacier 2012

In each image the snowline is noted by a yellow-orange arrow, the glacier continues to have a persistent accumulation, which indicates it can survive current climate. A closer examination of the terminus in 2006 from Google Earth indicates the two new lakes, the detached ice remnant and active crevassing of the glacier surface close to the terminus. In 2006 the glacier terminus still reaches the newly formed lake. The active crevassing begins within 300 meters of the current terminus. The ice tongue reaching down to the lake has already retreated from it and this narrow tongue will be lost soon.
snowcap creek glacier terminus

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Stave Glacier Retreat, British Columbia

Stave Glacier is a six kilometer long valley glacier in Garibaldi Provinical Park, British Columbia. Koch et al (2009) in their detailed survey of glaciers in the park chronicled the glacier’s retreat from 1952 to 1996. Here we update the changes in Stave Glacier to 2012. Koch et al (2009) completed a map, first image that indicates the retreat rate of the glacier as 26 meters/year from 1900-1952, 33 meters/year 1952-1977 and 53 meters/year from 1977 to 1996. Examined below is Google Earth imagery from 2006, aerial photography from 2009 and Landsat imagery from 2009 and 2012. The Google Earth image indicates the terminus position using arrows in 1952 (yellow arrow), 1977 (pink arrow), 1996 (orange arrow), 2006 (blue arrow) and 2012 (purple arrow). In the Landsat images the same color scheme is used, for terminus front lines also. The retreat from 1996-2012 is 1600 meters, 100 meters/year. This glacier is still not approaching equilibrium as the accelerating retreat indicates. stave mapstave ge
stave 2009
stave 2012 A close up of the terminus in 2006 (top) and 2009 (bottom) indicates the lowest couple hundred meters is thin and uncrevassed indicating retreat will continue. The glacier terminus is at 1275 meters today. There is an active icefall above the terminus at 1500 meters, the snowline has been at 1900 meters. Unlike the nearby Helm Glacier, Stave Glacier has a persistent accumulation zone and can survive current climate. Its behavior is similar to that of Warren Glacier. stave 2006 terminusstave terminus

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