CGRG Bibliography of Canadian Geomorphology
Author : Lawby, C.P.; Smith, D.J.; Laroque, C.P.; and Brugman, M.M.
Date : 1995
Title : Glaciological studies at Rae Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains
Publication : Physical Geography
Issue : 15(5):
Page(s) : 425-441
Rae Glacier is a small cirque glacier located in the front ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. In 1990 and 1991 field research was completed to describe the physical glaciology of Rae Glacier and to characterize historical glaciological trends at the site. Ablation and surface movement rates were measured using a network of stakes drilled into the glacier and radio-echo sounding was used to describe local ice depths. Rae Glacier has experienced a significant loss in size and mass during the historical period, owing to a lengthy interval of negative mass-balance conditions. The glacier has decreased in surface area by over 50% and now contains less than 24% of the ice it did at the end of the last century. Surface-ice velocity varied between 1.4 and 5.4 m from 1990 to 1991. Rates of ice ablation proved to be highly variable, with steeper areas showing up to 50% more ablation. Combined with data on the emergent flow component of the glacier, the ablation data suggest that the glacier is presently unable to replenish the amount of ice annually being lost to ablation. The glacier has a lag time of 5 to 10 years, which confirms that it is sensitive to climate fluctuations and responds to changes in mass balance within a very short time. This observation is supported by an estimated response time of 42 years.
Bibliography of Canadian Geomorphology