Alaska Science Center


USGS Benchmark Glacier Mass Balance

The USGS Benchmark Glacier mass balance program strives to quantify glacier mass changes, climate parameters and streamflow at four glacierized basins in North America.

Abstract


The USGS Benchmark Glacier mass balance program strives to quantify glacier mass changes, climate parameters and streamflow at four glacierized basins in North America. The glaciers are distributed in different climate regimes to better define glacier response to changes in climate forcing. Data from two glaciers located in climatically distinct basins form the basis of this project in Alaska: Gulkana Glacier, a continental glacier located in the Alaska Range, and Wolverine Glacier, a maritime glacier located in the Kenai Mountains. Outside of Alaska, the project includes Washington state's South Cascade Glacier, which is located in a mid-latitude maritime environment, and Montana's Sperry Glacier, located in the mid-latitude continental or transitional climate regime, within Glacier National Park. This research is aimed at refining knowledge of how glacier-climate interactions drive socio-economic problems including sea level change, water supply and ecosystem linkages. Over the 1966–present study interval, study glaciers have retreated and lost mass, primarily as a result of summer warming.
Products
Title Type
Weather Station Data on the Juneau IcefieldData
High Altitude Weather Station Data at USGS Benchmark GlaciersData
USGS Benchmark Glacier Mass Balance and Project DataData
Point Raw Glaciological Data: Ablation Stake, Snow Pit, and Probed Snow Depth Data on USGS Benchmark Glaciers, 1981-2016Data
Glacier-Wide Mass Balance and Compiled Data Inputs: USGS Benchmark GlaciersData
Re-analysis of Alaskan benchmark glacier mass-balance data using the index methodPublication
Assessing streamflow sensitivity to variations in glacier mass balancePublication
Glacier ResearchProject Website
USGS Glacier StudiesProject Website

Contacts

O'Neel, Shad R., 907-786-7088

Status: onGoing
Start Year: 1967
End Year:

Project Sites

Location
Gulkana Glacier
Wolverine Glacier

USGS Mission Area and Program
Land ResourcesClimate Research and Development

Keywords
Cryosphere > Glaciers/Ice Sheets > Glacier Mass Balance/Ice Sheet Mass Balance