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Perennial snow and ice volumes on Iliamna Volcano, Alaska, estimated with ice radar and volume modeling

Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4176

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Abstract

The volume of four of the largest glaciers on Iliamna Volcano was estimated using the volume model developed for evaluating glacier volumes on Redoubt Volcano. The volume model is controlled by simulated valley cross sections that are constructed by fitting third-order polynomials to the shape of the valley walls exposed above the glacier surface. Critical cross sections were field checked by sounding with ice-penetrating radar during July 1998. The estimated volumes of perennial snow and glacier ice for Tuxedni, Lateral, Red, and Umbrella Glaciers are 8.6, 0.85, 4.7, and 0.60 cubic kilometers respectively. The estimated volume of snow and ice on the upper 1,000 meters of the volcano is about 1 cubic kilometer. The volume estimates are thought to have errors of no more than ?25 percent. The volumes estimated for the four largest glaciers are more than three times the total volume of snow and ice on Mount Rainier and about 82 times the total volume of snow and ice that was on Mount St. Helens before its May 18, 1980 eruption. Volcanoes mantled by substantial snow and ice covers have produced the largest and most catastrophic lahars and floods. Therefore, it is prudent to expect that, during an eruptive episode, flooding and lahars threaten all of the drainages heading on Iliamna Volcano. On the other hand, debris avalanches can happen any time. Fortunately, their influence is generally limited to the area within a few kilometers of the summit.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Perennial snow and ice volumes on Iliamna Volcano, Alaska, estimated with ice radar and volume modeling
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
99-4176
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1999
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; Branch of Information Services [distributor],
Description:
11 p. :maps ;28 cm.; 4 illus.; 2 tables