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Geosciences 2014, 4(3), 191-201; doi:10.3390/geosciences4030191

Recent Alpine Glacier Variability: Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA

1
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Rd, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
2
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
3
Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, University of Wyoming, 1000 East University Avenue, Laramie, WY 82070, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 May 2014 / Revised: 1 August 2014 / Accepted: 18 August 2014 / Published: 26 August 2014
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Abstract

Glacier area and volume changes were quantified through the use of historical aerial photographs in the Wind River Range, Wyoming. Forty-four glaciers in the Wind River Range were analyzed using orthorectified aerial photography from 2012. This is an update to the work of Thompson et al. [1] in which the surface area changes of the 44 glaciers were estimated from 1966 to 2006. The total surface area of the glaciers was estimated to be 27.8 ± 0.8 km2, a decrease of 39% from 1966 and a decrease of 2% from 2006. The 2012 volume changes for the 44 glaciers were estimated using the Bahr et al. [2] volume-area scaling technique. The total glacier volume in 2012 was calculated to be 1.01 ± 0.21 km3, a decrease of 63% from 1966. These results, once compared to temperature and snowpack trends, suggest that the downward trend in snowpack as well as increasing temperatures seem to be the most likely driver of the glacier recessions. With Global Circulation Models (GCMs) forecasting higher temperatures and lower precipitation in the western U.S., it is likely that glaciers will continue to recede.Glacier area and volume changes were quantified through the use of historical aerial photographs in the Wind River Range, Wyoming. Forty-four glaciers in the Wind River Range were analyzed using orthorectified aerial photography from 2012. This is an update to the work of Thompson et al. [1] in which the surface area changes of the 44 glaciers were estimated from 1966 to 2006. The total surface area of the glaciers was estimated to be 27.8 ± 0.8 km2, a decrease of 39% from 1966 and a decrease of 2% from 2006. The 2012 volume changes for the 44 glaciers were estimated using the Bahr et al. [2] volume-area scaling technique. The total glacier volume in 2012 was calculated to be 1.01 ± 0.21 km3, a decrease of 63% from 1966. These results, once compared to temperature and snowpack trends, suggest that the downward trend in snowpack as well as increasing temperatures seem to be the most likely driver of the glacier recessions. With Global Circulation Models (GCMs) forecasting higher temperatures and lower precipitation in the western U.S., it is likely that glaciers will continue to recede. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier; remote sensing; climate; Geographic Information System (GIS); uncertainty glacier; remote sensing; climate; Geographic Information System (GIS); uncertainty
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Maloof, A.; Piburn, J.; Tootle, G.; Kerr, G. Recent Alpine Glacier Variability: Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA. Geosciences 2014, 4, 191-201.

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