Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition (ICCE): An Analysis of Ice Depth on the Dinwoody Glacier Using Ground Penetrating Radar, The
presentationposted on 2017-06-20, 00:00 authored by Ian McGlynn
The Wind River Range, located in west-central Wyoming, is home to over 80 mountain glaciers. The meltwater from Wyoming's alpine glaciers is critical during the dry summer months when the snows have melted and precipitation is rare. Previous assessments of glaciers in the Wind River Range indicate an overall trend of recession since 1850, with only localized periods of growth. Due to the relationship between alpine glaciers and water availability, it is critical to monitor the health of these glaciers and analyze their rate of recession. This study seeks to determine changes in ice depth of the Dinwoody glacier (at the base of Gannet Peak) in the Wind River Range. Using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) (S&S Noggin 100MHz), the team collected subsurface data along a 1500m transect of the glacier. Results from this transect, collected in August of 2015, were compared to two previous studies conducted in 1991, and 2006. Data correlation with previous studies suggested a continuing trend of recession over the past three decades. Further analysis revealed a miscalculation in the transect route due to datum shift, rendering comparisons invalid. Repeat experiments, conducted in August of 2016, accounted for datum shift and resulted in suitable data for comparison with 2006 studies, as well as the previous year's data. Analysis of data from 2016 suggests an overestimation of ice depth from previous studies, along with an overall trend of recession. These findings may affect current understanding of glacial recession rates in the Wind River Range, and expand knowledge of the applications of portable GPR antennae for remote alpine glacier studies.