Event Title

Mapping the retreat of the Asulkan Glacier in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Description

Asulkan Glacier in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, has been subject to scientific investigation since the late 1800's. Our field investigations in September 2007 were intended to build upon this foundation and to map the icefront behaviour of the glacier by employing a variety of research techniques. Like most glaciers in the western Canadian Cordillera, the Asulkan Glacier has retreated up-valley over the historical period. An analysis of historical oblique photographs dating to 1905 and sequential vertical aerial photographs/images dating to the present indicate that the glacier has been retreating at rates averaging between 2.7 and 44 m/yr. To document periods of glacial expansion in the pre-historical period lichenometric, dendrochronologic and stratigraphic surveys of the lateral and terminal moraine complexes were completed. Lichenometric evidence shows that the subdued outermost moraine was deposited in the 18th Century. Lichen and tree-ring evidence indicate that the prominent lateral-terminal moraine complex was deposited in the 1850s. Dendrochronologic surveys of recently deglaciated terrain in front of the Asulkan Glacier and within the surrounding mountainside forest indicate that the historical behaviour of the ice front is closely correlated to regional precipitation variability and enhanced summer air temperatures during the historical period. Our surve y of the Asulkan Glacier suggests that, if the glacier continues to retreat and down waste at its pre sent rate, by approximately 2080 the glacier will have completely vanished.

Start Date

8-3-2008 8:00 AM

End Date

8-3-2008 5:00 PM

Subject - LCSH

Glaciers--Climatic factors--British Columbia--Asulkan Glacier; Dendrochronology--British Columbia--Glacier National Park; Lichenological surveys--British Columbia--Glacier National Park

Geographic Coverage

Glacier National Park (B.C.)

Genre/Form

Abstracts

Session

Glacial Studies: Interior Ranges

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.

Digital Format

application/pdf

Language

English

Type

event

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

Mapping the retreat of the Asulkan Glacier in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Asulkan Glacier in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, has been subject to scientific investigation since the late 1800's. Our field investigations in September 2007 were intended to build upon this foundation and to map the icefront behaviour of the glacier by employing a variety of research techniques. Like most glaciers in the western Canadian Cordillera, the Asulkan Glacier has retreated up-valley over the historical period. An analysis of historical oblique photographs dating to 1905 and sequential vertical aerial photographs/images dating to the present indicate that the glacier has been retreating at rates averaging between 2.7 and 44 m/yr. To document periods of glacial expansion in the pre-historical period lichenometric, dendrochronologic and stratigraphic surveys of the lateral and terminal moraine complexes were completed. Lichenometric evidence shows that the subdued outermost moraine was deposited in the 18th Century. Lichen and tree-ring evidence indicate that the prominent lateral-terminal moraine complex was deposited in the 1850s. Dendrochronologic surveys of recently deglaciated terrain in front of the Asulkan Glacier and within the surrounding mountainside forest indicate that the historical behaviour of the ice front is closely correlated to regional precipitation variability and enhanced summer air temperatures during the historical period. Our surve y of the Asulkan Glacier suggests that, if the glacier continues to retreat and down waste at its pre sent rate, by approximately 2080 the glacier will have completely vanished.