GEOSCAN Search Results: Fastlink

GEOSCAN Menu


TitleDecadal-centenary glacier mass changes and their variability, Jasper National Park of Canada, Alberta, including the Columbia Icefield region
DownloadDownloads
AuthorDemuth, M N; Horne, G
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 8229, 2017, 25 pages, https://doi.org/10.4095/304236
Year2017
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Lang.English
Mediadigital; on-line
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®); docx
ProvinceAlberta
NTS83C/02c; 83C/02d; 83C/02e; 83C/02f; 83C/03; 83C/04; 83C/05; 83C/06; 83C/07c; 83C/07d; 83C/07e; 83C/07f; 83C/10c; 83C/10d; 83C/10e; 83C/10f; 83C/10g; 83C/11; 83C/12; 83C/13; 83C/14; 83C/15b; 83C/15c; 83C/15d; 83C/15e; 83C/15f; 83C/15g; 83D/01; 83D/08; 83D/09; 83D/10; 83D/11e; 83D/11f; 83D/11g; 83D/11h; 83D/12f; 83D/12g; 83D/12h; 83D/13a; 83D/13b; 83D/13c; 83D/13f; 83D/13g; 83D/13h; 83D/14; 83D/15; 83D/16; 83E/01; 83E/02; 83E/03; 83E/04a; 83E/04b; 83E/04c; 83E/04f; 83E/04g; 83E/04h; 83E/05a; 83E/05b; 83E/05c; 83E/05f; 83E/05g; 83E/05h; 83E/06; 83E/07; 83E/08; 83F/04; 83F/05
AreaJasper National Park; Columbia Icefield
Lat/Long WENS-119.6417 -116.3583 53.5833 52.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; hydrogeology; environmental geology; glaciers; icefields; glaciology; ice conditions; climate effects; geodesy; glacier surveys; Columbia Glacier; Stuttfield Glacier; Athabasca Glacier; Boundary Glacier; Saskatchewan Glacier; mass balance; climate change; glacier volume; longitudinal profile change parameterization; monitoring; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary
Illustrationsphotographs; block diagrams; satellite images; digital elevation models; schematic representations; profiles; graphs; geoscientific sketch maps; location maps; tables; time series
ProgramEssential Climate Variable Monitoring, Climate Change Geoscience
ProgramParks Canada, Funding Program
ProgramNSERC Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
LinksErratum
Released2017 08 30; 2018 03 07
Abstract(Summary)
Geological Survey of Canada Open File 8229 presents an analysis of recently documented glacier volume and longitudinal profile changes to illustrate the decadal-centenary variability of mass change for a broad sample of study glaciers in Jasper National Park including those in the Columbia Icefield region. The results generally reflect large-scale regional glacier mass balance variability observed since the mid-20th century though, notably, the study glaciers are undergoing negative annual mass changes at a rate equal to or greater than thrice that of their long-term annualized centenary value (i.e., since c. 1841). While the general pattern of glacier mass loss since the mid-20th century appears to be influenced, in part, by shifts in the regime of the Pacific North American circulation pattern, it is noted that for the study glaciers and for other glaciers in southwestern Canada, the northwest Pacific and globally, mass change values over the last several decades and into early 21st century are exhibiting higher variability including several instances of record mass gains.
This is an important result because glacier fluctuations and climate change are nearly always discussed by non-specialists in terms of the archetypal less glacier mass = warmer climate; and while this paradigm is true at the scale of climate cycles, Ice Ages and the glacial and interglacial periods within them, a more variable state of glacier nourishment, wastage and melt under the influences of a more variable, non-stationary climate system - a finger print of human-induced climate change - within the response times of typical mountain glaciers (order 1-100 a), will have implications on assessing their role on the functioning and health of related ecosystems.
Under fiscal pressures, many monitoring-based scientific efforts are being asked to reduce their measurement networks both spatially and even temporally. Under climatic conditions that manifest increasing variability in the functioning of related systems at multiple scales, it is prudent to do quite the opposite by building observing partnerships and thereby increasing observing system density and measurement frequency. Such an effort can be fortified, in part, by developing novel approaches to observing and interpretation as detailed herein.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This Geological Survey of Canada Open File publication presents an analysis of recently documented glacier volume and longitudinal profile changes to illustrate the decadal-centenary variability of mass for a broad sample of study glaciers in Jasper National Park including those in the Columbia Icefield region. The results generally reflect large-scale regional glacier mass balance variability observed since the mid-20th century - namely, the study glaciers are undergoing negative annual mass changes at a rate equal to or greater than thrice that of their long-term centenary value (since c. 1841). While the general pattern of glacier mass loss since the mid-20th century appears to be influenced, in part, by shifts in the regime of the Pacific North American circulation pattern, it is noted that for the study glaciers and for other glaciers in southwestern Canada, the northwest Pacific and globally, mass change values over the last several decades and into early 21st century are exhibiting higher variability including several instances of record mass gains.
GEOSCAN ID304236