USGS research on three mid-latitude glaciers

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Low- and mid-latitude regions of the earth are home to 80 to 90 percent of the world's population. Because of this, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting a research program to study the geochemistry of precipitation, snow, ice, and runoff samples from mid-latitude glaciers in Kyrghyzstan, Nepal, and the United States, Areas of research, such as ground-water studies, reconstructing paleoclimate records, describing anthropogenic input of chemicals to the environment, and modeling global climate, are important to the well being of the worlds' population and can be supplemented by the collection and chemical analysis of snow and ice cores. Nearly all the constituents that compose snow and ice-core samples contribute vital information, whether it be the microbial communities that flourish in snow, radionuclides present in various amounts in all the samples, or location-specific deposits of mercury and nitrate. This work is hastened by the fact that mid-latitude glaciers, and the information preserved in them, are rapidly disappearing as a result of global warming. Research collaboration for this project includes 12 national and 7 international universities, and 4 government agencies. Funding is provided by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the USGS.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
USGS research on three mid-latitude glaciers
Year Published:
Larger Work Title:
Proceedings of The Western Snow Conference
First page:
Last page:
Conference Title:
68th Annual Meeting Western Snow Conference
Conference Location:
Port Angeles, WA
Conference Date:
18 April 2000 through 20 April 2000