Glacier Variability (1967-2006) in the Teton Range, Wyoming, United States

Authors

  • Jake Edmunds,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Student (Edmunds) and Professor Emeritus (Pochop), Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071
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  • Glenn Tootle,

    1. Associate Professor (Tootle), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996
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  • Greg Kerr,

    1. Director (Kerr), Office of Water Programs, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071
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  • Ramesh Sivanpillai,

    1. Associate Research Scientist (Sivanpillai), Department of Botany and Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC), University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071
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  • Larry Pochop

    1. Respectively, Graduate Student (Edmunds) and Professor Emeritus (Pochop), Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071
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  • Paper No. JAWRA-10-0126-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.

(E-Mail/Tootle: gtootle@utk.edu)

Abstract

Edmunds, Jake, Glenn Tootle, Greg Kerr, Ramesh Sivanpillai, and Larry Pochop, 2011. Glacier Variability (1967-2006) in the Teton Range, Wyoming, United States. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(1): 187-196. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00607.x

Abstract:  Glacier area and volume changes were quantified through the use of historical aerial photographs in Wyoming’s Teton Range. Glacier area changes in the Teton Range were estimated for three glaciers using unrectified aerial photography from 1967 to 2006. The total surface area of the three glaciers was 0.53 km2 in 1967 and 0.40 km2 in 2006, a decrease of 25% during the 39-year period. The smallest glacier, Teepe, experienced the greatest area loss (60 ± 3%), whereas the largest glacier, Teton Glacier, lost 17 ± 3% of the 1967 area. For the current research, aerial photography from 1967 to 2002 was used to estimate glacier volume loss using stereoscopy techniques. The aerial photographs provide a finer resolution when compared with other datasets including satellite imagery (e.g., Landsat). Volume loss for the three glaciers was estimated to be 3.20 ± 0.46 million cubic meters over the period of 1967 to 2002. In assessing the primary climatic driver of the glacier ice loss, observed summer (June, July, and August) temperature data showed a statistically significant increase in temperatures when comparing the period of study (1968 to 2006) with historical temperatures from 1911 to 1967. When comparing spring (April 1st Snow Water Equivalent) snowpack for the period of study with historical records beginning in 1931, a significant difference in snowpack was not observed.

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