OTHER GLACIER SITES
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History of Research at
Gulkana Glacier, Alaska
|Gulkana Glacier, August 25, 1967.
Photo by Austin Post, #67L3-85. (click on image for enlargement, 176 KB.)
Measurements began on Gulkana Glacier during the early 1960's with the University of
Alaska Gulkana Glacier Project (Péwé
and Reger, 1983). For several years this project measured the energy budget, mass
balance, meteorology, foliation, flow, and glacier bottom topography (from gravity
anomalies) at Gulkana Glacier. In 1966, a continuing series of meteorological, snow and
ice balance, and runoff measurements was begun by the USGS as part of the United States
contribution to the International Hydrologic Decade study of mass balances on selected
glaciers. Detailed results from 1966 and 1967 are reported by Meier and others (1971) and Tangborn and others (1977),
respectively. Measured winter snow balances and annual balances from 1966-77 are reported
by Meier and others (1980).
Balance studies were relatively intensive until the mid-1970's, after which spatial
sampling was reduced to three sites used as indices for mass balance. Measurements at the
three remaining sites were expanded to include ice-motion and surface-altitude
observations (for determining glacier-volume change) in addition to the balance, runoff,
and meteorological observations already in progress.
|A dramatic example of glacier retreat:
top photograph shows lower Gulkana Glacier on July 1910; bottom photograph shows view from
same location on July 1952. Photos by F. Moffit and T. Péwé. (click on image for
enlargement, 117 KB.)
Since 1966, part of the Gulkana data set (net balance, accumulation, ablation,
accumulation area ratio (AAR), and equilibrium line altitude (ELA)) has been published by
the World Glacier Monitoring Service (Kasser, 1967; Muller, 1977; Haeberli, 1985; Haeberli and Müller, 1988; Haeberli and Hoelzle, 1993).
Index-site glacier-surface and summer-surface altitudes, measured winter balance, and net
firn and ice balance from 1975 to 1983 are reported by Mayo and Trabant (1986). Data for
1992 and 1993 were published by March and Trabant (1996
and 1997) and for 1994 by March (1998).
Interpretations of regional climate-glacier relations using the Gulkana data include
papers by Fahl (1973), by Walters and Meier (1989), and by Letréguilly and Reynaud (1989).
For further information: send email here.
Maintainer: Rod March
Last update: Friday, May 20, 2011 12:30 PM