• View from Sourdough Mountain Overlook  A view looking down onto Diablo Lake. Photo Credit: NPS/Michael Silverman, 2010.

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

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  • State Route 20 closed at Mile Post 134, Ross Dam

    After a brief closure at Newhalem due to an avalanche and unstable conditions, SR 20 has re-opened to its normal winter closure point at MP 134, Ross Dam. The highway will remain closed from Ross Dam to MP 171 (Silver Star Creek) until spring re-opening. More »

  • Ross Dam Haul Road Closure Continues

    A short segment of the Ross Dam Haul Road between the Diablo Lake suspension bridge and the tunnel remains closed to public use due to continued recovery following a March 2010 landslide. The closure will remain in effect through 2014. More »

  • Notice of planned work for the Cascade River Road, fall 2014

    Visitors planning to access the park via the Cascade River Road after Labor Day should be advised that the Park Service is planning a fall closure of this road at Eldorado Creek (3 miles before the end of the road) in order to perform permanent repairs. More »

Results

The four charts (Figures 10-13) summarize data collected over the past 18 years for each glacier. The vertical axis is the amount of water gained (winter balance), lost (summer balance), and retained (net balance) in meters of water equivalent (m.w.e.) averaged across the glacier. We use water equivalent as a measure because of the varying density of snow, ice and firn. This system allows us to summarize the melting of all three as one value. The horizontal axis lists the year of measurement on each glacier. Winter balance is always positive, while the summer balance is always negative. The net balance varies depending on whether or not the snowfall from the previous winter exceeded melting the following summer. Melt is greatest at the lowest elevations, often exceeding eight vertical meters. In addition, the data show a tendency for cool summers following wet winters, along with hot summers following dry winters. When these seasonal factors are coupled, the glaciers respond by positive balance and extreme negative balance, respectfully.
 
Figure 10
Figure 10 - Noisy Glacier Mass Balance
 
Figure 11
Figure 11 - Silver Glacer Mass Balance
 
Figure 12
Figure 12 - North Klawatti Glacier Mass Balance
 
Figure 13
Figure 13 - Sandalee Glacier Mass Balance

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Stephen Mather Wilderness comprises 93% of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. About 400 miles of trail provide access to this rugged Wilderness.