Glaciers - 5 of 29

Glaciers FAQs - 29 Found

How do we know glaciers are shrinking?

In addition to qualitative methods like Repeat Photography, USGS scientists in Glacier National Park collect quantitative measurements of glacier area and mass balance to track how some of the park’s glaciers are retreating (Glacier Monitoring Studies). Sperry Glacier is being intensively studied to determine its annual mass balance, or how much it is gaining or losing. Ablation stakes are used to determine the seasonal gain and loss of snow, density of snow is measured through snow-pit analysis, and precision GPS measurement document the glacier margin at Sperry and five other glaciers included in the monitoring plan. Also, because on-site GPS measurement of individual glaciers is expensive and labor intensive, aerial photograph analysis is used to determine glacier area through digitization of glacier margins on a park-wide scale.


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Benchmark Glaciers

Tags: Global Change, Glaciers, Climate, Snow, Ice, Polar