Water Resources Research
Glaciers -- Washington (State) -- North Cascades, Streamflow -- Effect of glacial runoff
The effect of temperate glaciers on runoff variations is examined for the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State. The principal influences of glaciers on streamflow are often unexpected contributions to streamflow volume, a delay of the maximum seasonal flow, and a decrease in annual and monthly variation of runoff. The delay of maximum flow is caused by temporary englacial storage of spring meltwater and by peak meltwater production occurring in midsummer. The englacial storage, for one case, is 54% of the potential May runoff. An algorithm is presented that calculates the coefficient of variation of runoff for any arbitrary glacier cover. The results suggest that a minimum in year-to-year vanatlon occurs for basms about 36% glacierized. On a month-to-month basis, maximum variation occurs in July and August for basins with less than 10% glacier cover but is a minimum for basins with glacier covers greater than 30%.
Fountain, A. G., and W. V. Tangborn (1985), The Effect of Glaciers on Streamflow Variations, Water Resour. Res., 21(4), 579-586, doi:10.1029/WR021i004p00579