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Journal of Glaciology

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Glaciers -- Climatic factors, Climatic changes, Streamflow, Glaciers -- Pacific Northwest, Olympic Mountains (Wash.)


The Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA, currently holds 184 alpine glaciers larger than 0.01 km² and their combined area is 30.2 ± 0.95km². Only four glaciers are >1km² and 120 of the others are -¹ (1900–80) to 0.54 km² a-¹ (1980–2009). Thinning rates on four of the largest glaciers averaged nearly 1ma-¹ from 1987 to 2010, resulting in estimated volume losses of 17–24%. Combined glacial snow, firn and ice melt in the Hoh watershed is in the range 63–79 ± 7 × 106m3, or 9–15% of total May–September streamflow. In the critical August–September period, the glacial fraction of total basin runoff increases to 18–30%, with one-third of the water directly from glacial ice (i.e. not snow and firn). Glaciers in the Elwha basin produce 12–15 ± 1.3 × 106m3 (2.5–4.0%), while those in the Dungeness basin contribute 2.5–3.1 ± 0.28 × 106m3 (3.0–3.8%).


To the best of our knowledge, this work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government in accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105.

Published 2015 by The International Glaciological Society.



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