Glacier volume estimation of Cascade Volcanoes—an analysis and comparison with other methods

Annals of Glaciology
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Abstract

During the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, the occurrence of floods and mudflows made apparent a need to assess mudflow hazards on other Cascade volcanoes. A basic requirement for such analysis is information about the volume and distribution of snow and ice on these volcanoes. An analysis was made of the volume-estimation methods developed by previous authors and a volume estimation method was developed for use in the Cascade Range. A radio echo-sounder, carried in a backpack, was used to make point measurements of ice thickness on major glaciers of four Cascade volcanoes (Mount Rainier, Washington; Mount Hood and the Three Sisters, Oregon; and Mount Shasta, California). These data were used to generate ice-thickness maps and bedrock topographic maps for developing and testing volume-estimation methods. Subsequently, the methods were applied to the unmeasured glaciers on those mountains and, as a test of the geographical extent of applicability, to glaciers beyond the Cascades having measured volumes. Two empirical relationships were required in order to predict volumes for all the glaciers. Generally, for glaciers less than 2.6 km in length, volume was found to be estimated best by using glacier area, raised to a power. For longer glaciers, volume was found to be estimated best by using a power law relationship, including slope and shear stress. The necessary variables can be estimated from topographic maps and aerial photographs.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Glacier volume estimation of Cascade Volcanoes—an analysis and comparison with other methods
Series title Annals of Glaciology
Volume 8
Year Published 1986
Language English
Publisher International Glaciological Society
Publisher location Cambridge, UK
Description 6 p.
First page 59
Last page 64