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Portage, Whittier, Eklutna, as well as many other well-known 'tourism glaciers' in the vicinity of Anchorage, Alaska are known to have retreated in the past 20 years. This begs the question, 'what of the other lesser-known glaciers? Do they follow the same patterns and minimal glacier models?' Glaciers such as Byron, Leonard, Matanuska, Raven and Spencer may fit a minimal model. Information on Byron and Leonard is sparse, as both have become hanging glaciers. Other glaciers, such as Raven, are small enough to be deemed insignificant, yet may have information to give. Consequently our objective is to study at least five Alaskan glaciers and determine wide-ranging variability to changing regional climate. To do this we obtained field geo-location data and characterized glaciers based on the satellite imagery and climate reevaluation. Our results show that the glaciers in the region are retreating irrespective of their aspects, location and altitudinal variability. Moreover, our presentation establishes the strong climate-glacier relationship and defines retreating snowline patterns over the last few decades.

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Course Project

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Umesh K. Haritashya

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Stander Symposium poster


This poster reflects research conducted as part of course project designed to give students experience in the research process.

Research exercise: Climate-Glacier Relationship of Retreating Alaskan Glaciers