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Characterizing Eklutna Glacier’s Response to Climate Through Measurements of Mass Balance, Geometry, and Motion

Submitted to Journal of Glaciology
Louis Sass, MSES, 2011

This work examined enhanced thinning in and near the accumulation zone on the main branch of Eklutna Glacier, Alaska. Measurements of surface mass balance and surface elevation document enhanced thinning and implications for stability in the present climate. Radar and GPS surveys were used to characterize associated dynamics.

Measurements of surface mass balance from 2008–10 and surface elevations in 1957, 2007, and 2010, show that thinning in the upper basin is shifting the area altitude distribution to lower elevation, forcing future mass balance to be more negative in a given climate. This suggests future mass loss will increase even without further climate forcing.