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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 2020

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Huxley College of the Environment

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Bach, Andrew J.

Second Advisor

Flower, Aquila

Third Advisor

Clark, Douglas H., 1961-


The Easton glacier on Mt. Baker, Washington has been the focus of several studies looking at ecological succession, glacier recession, and glacier mass balance. Several of these studies have noted a gap in the literature regarding the Easton glaciers terminus position in the early twentieth century. This study has refined the glacier's terminus position by using dendrochronological methods and identified the latest Little Ice Age end moraines. A chronology of the Easton glaciers terminus position overtime was created showing its recession and advancement since 1879. The rates of recession and advancement were calculated during this time highlighting the unpredictable behavior of glacial systems. By 1956, the Easton glacier had retreated a total of 2,708 meters since 1879. Between 1879 and 1910 the glacier retreated slowly, followed by a 25 year period of rapid retreat where the glacier retreated 1.87 kilometers. The retreat slowed until 1956, when the glacier began a period of advancement. Since 1990 the glacier has been in retreat, which has accelerated over the last few years. This study has also determined ecesis, the interval between deglaciation to vegetation establishment. Ecesis is about 9 years at the bottom of the foreland and 27-28 years at the top of the foreland. This trend of longer ecesis intervals at higher elevations reflects the colder conditions, poorer soil conditions and larger distance from seed sources compared to lower elevations. The findings from this study are only estimates but can still be used to inform on the Easton glaciers response to climate change and other environmental factors.




Glacier, Recession, Dendrochronology, Tree rings, Mount Baker


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Glacial erosion--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Baker, Mount; Dendrochronology--Washington (State)--Baker, Mount

Geographic Coverage

Baker, Mount (Wash.)




masters theses




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