MOUNT RAINIER NATURE NOTES
Each year glacial recession studies are made of some of the more
prominent rivers of ice upon the slopes of Mount Rainier. Since 1918
annual records have been taken by the Educational Department staff on
the Nisqually Glacier while fairly accurate historical records give us a
good record of the position of the snout of this ice sheet as far as
1857, when Lieutenant A. V. Kautz made the first mention of the position
of the Nisqually's ice front. The results of this data are exceedingly
interesting for they give us an insight into the behavior of the best
known glacier Mount Rainier.
In the fall of 1930 similar recessional measurements were begun near
the snout of the Emmons Glacier, largest in continental United States,
and the following year the first tabulation was made. Then to further
round out this experiment, which will be culmulative and continue from
year to year, points were established and base lines run at the snouts
of the Carbon and South Tahoma Glaciers. These are all living glaciers
- that is they move down the mountainside slowly but surely throughout
the year and each is located on a different exposure upon the mountain's
flanks. The first recessional measurement will be made on these last
two this fall. In addition to such data it was decided to make similar
studies on some dead (one that does not move downward) glacier and the
Paradise Glacier, being the better known, more easily accessible and the
one about which past records could most likely be obtained, was
selected. Points will be placed for the first time along the edge of
the ice of this glacier this fall and the first results will be computed
next year after 12 months have elapsed. Recessional measurements as
taken on the Nisqually Glacier this fall follow. The next issue of
Nature Notes will contain results of measurements taken on the Emmons,
Carbon, and South Tahoma Glaciers.
|1857 to 1885 # . . . . .||760 feet.
||1924 to 1925 . . . . .||73 feet.|
|1885 to 1892 . . . . .||140 feet.
||1925 to 1926 . . . . .||86 feet.|
|1892 to 1918 # . . . . .||1310 feet.
||1926 to 1927 . . . . .||43 feet.|
|1918 to 1919 . . . . .||59 feet.
||1927 to 1928 . . . . .||89 feet.|
|1919 to 1920 . . . . .||46 feet.
||1928 to 1929 . . . . .||52 feet.|
|1920 to 1921 . . . . .||106 feet.
||1929 to 1930 . . . . .||118 feet.|
|1921 to 1922 . . . . .||67 feet.
||1930 to 1931 . . . . .||49 feet.|
|1922 to 1932 . . . . .||44 feet.
||1931 to 1932 . . . . .||50 feet.|
|1923 to 1924 . . . . .||83 feet.
|# - Estimated|
Total recession for the years 1857 to 1932 was 3,155 feet. The
average recession for this period is 42 feet per year. The average
recession since actual tabulations have been taken is 68 feet per