Event Title

Hypsometry, geodetic ELAs, and snowlines of Clemenceau Icefield Group glaciers, Canadian Rocky Mountains

Description

Clemenceau Icefield Group (CIG) is located west-northwest of Columbia Icefield. It consists of 89 glacier systems of which most of the larger glaciers drain the icefield. Numerous smaller glaciers are of the cirque and glacieret types. Glacier elevation ranges from 3660-1320m asl. We present a first glacier inventory of CIG, and focus on the mass balance characteristics derived from glacier hypsometries, geodetic equilibrium lines (ELAs) based on NRCan DEMs, and snowlines from Landsat7 and ASTER satellite images. The CIG ice cover diminished from 313km2 in the late 1980s to 271km2 planar area in 2001. Some of the northern outlets have retreated >2km between 1923 and 2001, which is double the retreat rate of the Athabasca and Saskatchewan glaciers. Glacier hypsometries are top-heavy for the outlet glaciers; many of the smaller glaciers are equidimensional. The ablation gradient of Shackleton Glacier is 1.2m/100m: slightly steeper than the more continental Peyto glacier. Geodetic equilibrium lines range from 1880 to 2680m asl. With the average late-summer snowlines at 2300-2600m asl (c.f. 2200m in the 1980s, and 2695m for Peyto), the outlet glaciers are predicted to be very sensitive to climate change, as a small rise in snowline elevation exposes large additional areas to ablation.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

8-3-2008 8:00 AM

Subject - LCSH

Clemenceau Icefield (B.C. and Alta.)--Climatic factors; Ice fields--Climatic factors;

End Date

8-3-2008 5:00 PM

Session

Glacial Studies: Interior Ranges

Genre/Form

Abstracts

Type

event

Geographic Coverage

Clemenceau Icefield (B.C. and Alta.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Keywords

hypsometry, glacier inventory, mass balance, glacier retreat, Clemenceau Icefield Group

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Mar 8th, 8:00 AM Mar 8th, 5:00 PM

Hypsometry, geodetic ELAs, and snowlines of Clemenceau Icefield Group glaciers, Canadian Rocky Mountains

Clemenceau Icefield Group (CIG) is located west-northwest of Columbia Icefield. It consists of 89 glacier systems of which most of the larger glaciers drain the icefield. Numerous smaller glaciers are of the cirque and glacieret types. Glacier elevation ranges from 3660-1320m asl. We present a first glacier inventory of CIG, and focus on the mass balance characteristics derived from glacier hypsometries, geodetic equilibrium lines (ELAs) based on NRCan DEMs, and snowlines from Landsat7 and ASTER satellite images. The CIG ice cover diminished from 313km2 in the late 1980s to 271km2 planar area in 2001. Some of the northern outlets have retreated >2km between 1923 and 2001, which is double the retreat rate of the Athabasca and Saskatchewan glaciers. Glacier hypsometries are top-heavy for the outlet glaciers; many of the smaller glaciers are equidimensional. The ablation gradient of Shackleton Glacier is 1.2m/100m: slightly steeper than the more continental Peyto glacier. Geodetic equilibrium lines range from 1880 to 2680m asl. With the average late-summer snowlines at 2300-2600m asl (c.f. 2200m in the 1980s, and 2695m for Peyto), the outlet glaciers are predicted to be very sensitive to climate change, as a small rise in snowline elevation exposes large additional areas to ablation.