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Rapid geomorphic change caused by glacial outburst floods and debris flows along Tahoma Creek, Mount Rainier, Washington, USA

Arctic & Alpine Research

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Abstract

As part of a hazards-assessment study, we examined the nature and rate of geomorphic change caused by outburst floods and debris flows along Tahoma Creek, Mount Rainier, since 1967. Archival aerial photographs of the area proved to be a rich source of qualitative geomorphic information. On the basis of limited direct evidence and considerations of stream hydrology, we conclude that nearly all of these debris flows began as outburst floods from South Tahoma Glacier. The water floods transformed to debris flows by incorporating large masses of sediment in a 2-km-long channel reach where the stream has incised proglacial sediments and debris-rich, stagnant glacier ice. Comparison of topographic maps for 1970 and 1991 shows that the average sediment flux out of the incised reach has been about 2 to 4 ?? 105 m3 a-1, corresponding to an average denudation rate in the upper part of the Tahoma Creek drainage basin of about 20 to 40 mm a-1, a value exceeded only rarely in basins affected by debris flows. Little of this sediment has yet passed out of the Tahoma Creek basin. -from Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Rapid geomorphic change caused by glacial outburst floods and debris flows along Tahoma Creek, Mount Rainier, Washington, USA
Series title:
Arctic & Alpine Research
Volume
26
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1994
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Arctic & Alpine Research
First page:
319
Last page:
327
Number of Pages:
9