A century of glacier change on Mount Baker, Washington

TitleA century of glacier change on Mount Baker, Washington
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2007
AuthorsFountain AG, Jackson K, Basagic HJ, Sitts D
Conference NameGeological Society of America - Abstracts with Programs

Glaciers mantel the flanks and summit of Mount Baker like most stratovolcanoes in the Northwest. Since the turn of the last century, the glaciers on the volcano receded rapidly in the early decades of the 20th century and readvanced in the late 1940s – 1970s during a cool snowier period. Recession retuned with warmer temperatures and lower snowfall in the 1980s after a shift in atmospheric circulation in 1976/1977 and the longer scale PDO cycles. Not all glaciers have receded equally. The larger, higher glaciers have receded least and the smaller lower glaciers have receded the most. This behavior is common to Mt. Rainier, Washington, and to Mount Hood, Oregon where similar studies have occurred. The retreat is probably results from elevation-area distribution and glacier thickness rather than aspect. Details of the rate of change and comparisons between glaciers and with other glaciated regions in the US will be presented.